Dhaka, April 17: Bangladeshis, those who are staying in abroad, can now send their remittances to their relatives through mobile-phone easily.
bKash, a household name offering mobile financial service, has joined hands with MasterCard and Western Union, to launch an unique international remittance service for Bangladeshis living abroad.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam inaugurated the initiative at a city hotel on Sunday.
Addressing the function, he said the initiative was historic. “You have changed the way financial transactions happen here. People now say bKash me and they don’t say send cash,” he said. “This new initiative will benefit 8 million Bangladeshis living abroad”.
Remittance, which accounts for 10 percent of the GDP, is one of the largest contributors to Bangladesh’s economy.
About 120 million people have mobile phones in Bangladesh. Of them 22 million have bKash accounts, a joint venture of BRAC Bank launched in 2011.
bKash Chief Executive Officer Kamal Quadir said as most of the people live in rural Bangladesh, sometimes they have to walk miles to receive their remittance send through conventional banking channel.
“This new solution will make it easier,” he said.
By using the new service, bKash’s registered customers can receive remittances from every Western Union branch and channel directly into their bKash account, 24 hours a day.
Once the transfer is complete, the funds can be accessed instantly.
Customers can either encash the money via 120,000 bKash agent locations across Bangladesh or can utilise the account balance to make person to person fund transfer, top-up mobile airtime, pay bills, and shop in-store.
They can also store the money in their bKash accounts and earn interest on savings.
The customers have to enter the Western Union reference number, amount and PIN and the request will be processed using MasterCard’s secure payment technology and funds credited to the bKash account.
A maximum of Tk 35,000 can be sent in one transaction. Five transactions can be made each day, but the amount of remittance cannot exceed Tk 115,000.
Up to Tk 150,000 can be sent in a month using a maximum 20 transactions.
MasterCard’s Group Executive Matthew Driver, Western Union’s Regional President Jean Claude Farah, and Managing Director of BRAC Bank Selim Hussain also spoke.