Prime Minister's ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy today said that the next step of digital Bangladesh is building a cashless society to ensure transparency, accountability and mobility in financial transactions.
"The next dream of digital Bangladesh is to make a cashless society. The blaze service is a part of the cashless society," he said while inaugurating the blaze service as the chief guest at a virtual function.
State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Bangladesh Bank Deputy Governor Jamal Ahmed joined the function as special guests while Chairman of the Sonali Bank Board of Directors Ziaul Hasan Siddiqui gave the concluding remarks.
CEO and Managing Director of the Sonali Bank Limited Md. Ataur Rahman Prodhan delivered the welcome speech.
The blaze service, a joint initiative of Sonali Bank, Homepay and ITCL, will reduce the tendency of sending money through 'hundi' and will increase further the country's foreign exchange reserves, official sources said.
Through the service, the hard earned money of expatriates from any part of the world will be able to send easily and safely within just five seconds in any time to the country through the blaze service. Sonali Bank Limited is the first in the banking sector of Bangladesh to introduce such activities. As a result, expatriates will be able to send their money easily and the beneficiaries will be able to withdraw the money from their own banks quickly, the sources added .
In his speech, Joy said under the strong leadership and direction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has achieved significant success in the development of IT sector in the last 12 years as part of building a "Digital Bangladesh".
Information technology has changed the way of people's living and the economy around the world and the current situation caused by the COVID-19 epidemic has multiplied the need and importance of information technology, he added.
He informed that Bangladesh's economy has not faced impact of Covid-19 as the country adopted the digitization long ago.
Due to digitization, he said, Bangladesh is performing well than the other countries during the Covid pandemic.
Bangladesh started various activities, including video conferencing and e-filling, long ago, just during the Covid pandemic, the country is actively utilizing it, he added.
In the last 12 years, the ICT Division has achieved unimaginable success in the banking sector and financial sector of Bangladesh, including financial inclusion, official sources said.
Due to information technology alone, there are now about four crore mobile banking customers in the country and the daily turnover of mobile banking is around Taka 2, 300 crore. The monthly turnover under BEFTN, RTGS and BACH was Taka 54,490 crore, Taka 1,44,411 crore and Taka 89,063 crore respectively. Besides, the monthly transactions through ATMs, POS and IBFT under NPSB amount is around Taka 1,725 crore, Taka 138 crore and Taka 542 crore respectively, the sources added.
The country's 48 public-private banks have launched online services in addition to the conventional system. All banks are using electronic payment switches. Anyone can withdraw money from another bank using his ATM card.
E-commerce has spread widely in cities and villages. Already more than 5 lakh customers have availed e-commerce services through 'Ek-Shop'. 'Ek-Shop' has included more than one million products on the platform with the aim of delivering the products of local artisans across the country.
According to the sources, Blaze is Bangladesh's first instant, 24×7, 365 days cross-border payment network. Blaze provides bank account deposit service to the leading 35 banks in Bangladesh in less than 5 seconds.
Blaze's partners are global digital-only payment platforms that want an easy, safe, fast, and compliant way to transact with residents and businesses of one of the world's fastest-growing economies.