Incentivise e-payments to speed up digital transformation
Both the government and the central bank should take initiatives to provide cashback or incentive to customers for carrying out transactions using digital tools with a view to attaining sustainable economic growth, experts said yesterday. The country has made an impressive stride in expediting digital financial services (DFS) during the coronavirus pandemic as remote working received a boost to keep the deadly virus at bay while e-commerce, e-payment and even e-learning took a major leap forward.The government introduced a 2 per cent cash incentive on remittance, giving a great boost to the inflow of the money sent by expatriate Bangladeshis. The authorities should take required policy measures to allow clients to enjoy cashback or incentives on the transactions by using DFS tools. Tax rebate may also be given if people settle transactions digitally. Uniform guidelines should be rolled out to promote mobile financial services, said Kamal Quadir, chief executive officer of bKash, the country’s leading MFS operator.Clients have to pay Tk 20 for cashing out Tk 1,000 but such charges should be brought down to single-digit.Internet should be offered to commoners at lower cost so that digital financial services widen, said Tina Jabeen, managing director of Startup Bangladesh, a government initiative working to create an accelerator and its accompanying ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, advisers.
Online platform to connect garment buyers, sellers
A local online platform for trading garment items was launched yesterday to help international suppliers and retailers meet exporters directly and facilitate verification of work orders digitally. The platform — Merchant Bay — is a subsidiary of a leading garment exporting company, Sayem Group.Some 1,000 members registered with the platform while it was undergoing development over the past one year, he said at the virtual inauguration.Merchant Bay, which has been working mainly as a matchmaking agent for buyers and sellers of garment items, has been primarily charging Tk 1,500 a month as fee and also offers an annual package of Tk 20,000. The reality of online business was realised when garment work orders worth $3.15 billion were cancelled by international retailers and brands during the March to April period as a result of the fallouts of the Covid-19 this year.Nokia has been asking to invest in Bangladesh as it believes the country is a major market for smart mobile phone sets, he said, adding that currently 82 per cent of the smartphones used by local customers were being produced locally.
Nitol Insurance price jumps 84 per cent in two weeks
The share price of Nitol Insurance jumped 84 per cent or Tk 30.70 each in the just two weeks to close at Tk 67.20 on Thursday. Its share price was Tk 36.50 two weeks back on September 8. During the week that ended on Thursday, with eight of the top 10 in the gainers’ list coming from the insurance sector. The week’s top eight gainers are Federal Insurance, which gained 41.57 per cent, followed by Rupali Insurance with 36.21 per cent, Nitol Insurance 33.33 per cent, Purabi General 31.53 per cent, Rupali Life 27.84 per cent, Sandhani Life 24.90 per cent, Fareast Islami Life 22.71 per cent and Delta Life Insurance gained 22.09 per cent. The life insurance sector witnessed 15 per cent gain while general insurance sector soared 11 per cent last week.
EBL launches UnionPay debit and prepaid cards
Eastern Bank Limited (EBL) has launched the country’s first Dual Currency UnionPay Debit Card and Prepaid Card. Cardholders can endorse up to USD 12,000 yearly travel quota limit to the newly launched cards. These dual currency cards are accepted both locally and internationally and are good for e-commerce transactions as well.In addition to the UnionPay specific offers and benefits, EBL UnionPay Debit and Prepaid cardholders will be able to avail all the regular EBL Debit and Prepaid card product propositions.