Digital transactions are on the rise in financial transactions during the ongoing pandemic. One of the means of digital transaction is internet banking. The number of customers is increasing along with the increase in transactions in internet banking.
For the first time, internet banking transactions in the country have exceeded Tk10,000 crore. According to the latest data released by the central bank, transactions in March last stood at Tk10,371 crore, up 57.42% from March last year.
Internet banking transactions increased by 22.34% in March as compared to February. The turnover in February was Tk8,477 crore.
Asked about this, Ali Reza Iftekhar, chairman of the Association of Bankers Bangladesh (ABB) and managing director of Eastern Bank Limited (EBL), told The Business Standard that the increased amount of transactions indicate that an increased number of consumers are leaning towards digital transactions.
He said,"Through internet banking, customers get many services at home. They are getting services like opening an account, withdrawing money, depositing money, bill payment, money transfer etc. This is increasing the interest of customers."
He thinks that most of the bank transactions will be done digitally after the next five years. Customers will not need to come to the bank.
Digital transactions at our bank has increased 300 to 400 times during the pandemic, he said.
Regarding the fact that internet banking is not becoming as popular as mobile banking, the banker said that the expansion of mobile banking is not common in the field of internet banking. "Mobile banking is mainly based on transfer of money, other transactions are not so much. But almost all types of services are available through internet banking," he added.
"Moreover, in the case of internet banking, the customer has to maintain some things, which is not the case with mobile banking. The number of internet banking customers will soon reach one crore," said the banker.
Notable, along with the increase in transactions, the number of customers of internet banking is also increasing. Compared to February, the number of customers increased by about 90,000 in March to 34,72,072.
In March, the number of internet users was 11.61 crore. As such, only 3% of the total Internet users are Internet banking customers.
The head of the digital finance department of a private bank hopes that this number will increase further in the near future.
The banker, who did not want to be named, told The Business Standard that the interest created over digital transactions during the first wave of Covid pandemic is coming to fruition during the second wave. As a result, both transactions and subscribers has grown in March.
He is hopeful that both the number of internet banking customers and transactions will grow faster as there is now a conducive environment for banks to launch digital payment systems.