Govt to formalise mobile banking for remittance

Dhaka,  Sun,  25 June 2017
Published : 15 May 2017, 00:12:50
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Govt to formalise mobile banking for remittance

FE Report


Planning Minister A H M Mustafa Kamal said on Sunday the government is going to formally allow sending remittance from overseas countries to Bangladesh through mobile banking system.

"A significant volume of remittance is coming through the informal channels. Besides, the Bangladeshi expatriates are also sending money through bKash. So, the government has decided to formalise mobile banking system for sending foreign exchange," he said after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting.

Referring to the discussion at the NEC meeting, the minister said the government wants to track all the remittances, including the formal channels and the informal channels, to check 'hundi' and other illegal operations for sending money from abroad.

He said according to the government plan, the central bank will have an account, where all the remittance operations will send foreign exchange.

Currently, the Bangladeshis working abroad send remittance through banking system, mobile banking and some other informal channels.

According to the minister, 14.31 per cent of the total remittance came through bKash in 2016, which is a significant amount of foreign exchange earnings.

"The remittance sent through bKash is not included in our foreign exchange reserve. So, the mobile banking operators like bKash will be allowed as the formal remittance-sending channel."

Researchers said nearly the same amount of remittance that comes to Bangladesh every year through the formal channels also comes through 'hundi' and other informal channels.

Mr Kamal said if the government cuts the fees and service charges for remittance, sending foreign exchange through the formal channels will rise.

According to the minister, 51 per cent of the total remittance in 2016 came through the banking channel, 12.66 per cent through money exchange houses, 12.31 per cent through 'hundi', 14.31 per cent through bKash, and 3.8 per cent through other channels.

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