The number of transactions through Mobile Financial Services (MFS) decreased by more than 6% in August although many new customers were added in the last year amid the Covid-19 epidemic.
In July, the number of MFS transactions was Tk66,387 crore, which decreased by Tk4,153 crore to Tk62,230 crore in August, says updated MFS data for August provided by the Bangladesh Bank.
Experts said customers used to prefer MFS over going to banks to avoid infection of the virus amid the epidemic. Besides, the central bank provided some special facilities amid the epidemic, for example, no limit on transactions and reducing transaction fees, to popularise mobile banking services among customers.
As the overall Covid-19 situation has improved in the country, customers have started taking services directly from the banks again. Apart from that, remittance inflow has slowed down after revoking the special facilities.
Despite the drop in transactions, the number of subscribers and active accounts increased by 1.6%, compared to the previous month, to 10,43,64,408 in August. The information on Nagad has not been included in the data.
Shamsuddin Haider, Head of Corporate Communications and Public Relation at bKash, told The Business Standard that the number of transactions always falls in the months following a festive month. Many have sent money for their families on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.
At present, 15 banks are providing mobile banking services in the country. Last August, the amount of "cash-in" was Tk18,669 crore while "cash-out" was Tk14,992 crore. Besides, Tk19,445 was transacted in individual accounts and Tk3,465 crore was paid as shopping bills.
According to the latest data from the Bangladesh Bank, there were 11,62,000 agents involved in the MFS services and more than 10,43,64,000 registered customers by the end of August. Among the registered customers, regular transactions take place in three to four crore accounts.