By Mohammed Waseem
Bangladesh is the country which has the highest density of population. Most of the people there live in rural areas and only 15% of the citizens of the country have access to financial services. Sending and receiving money is something unheard of for many. Introduction of innovative, instant money transfer service is a good idea and has a huge potential in this market.
bKash, a joint venture between US based company, Money in Motion and Bangladesh based BRAC Bank offers a mobile wallet and allows users to send money to each other in Bangladesh. It functions as a subsidiary of BRAC Bank. bKash was introduced to address the need to make financial services available to everyone in Bangladesh regardless of the remoteness of their location.
70% of the Bangladeshi population lives in rural areas and only 15% have a formal connection with a banking system. It is also reported that over 68% of Bangladeshis have mobile phones. To make these mobile phones more than just devices to talk on, this service was introduced.
bKash works with the existing mobile networks, currently including Robi, Grameenphone, Banglalink and Airtel. Money can be sent to any bKash user within Bangladesh in seconds by only entering a few details on any mobile phone, not necessarily a smartphone. Recipients can cash out the money at various places including a wide agent network across Bangladesh.
To send money, users need to dial *247# and choose ‘Send Money’. Recipient’s bKash wallet number has to be provided along with the amount, before entering the reference message and the PIN and confirming the transfer.
The service is available across Bangladesh and is fast, secure, affordable and convenient to use. Users can also receive money from abroad from their family members working in foreign countries. The service can be used by any Bangladeshi who is above 18 years in age and has a valid identity proof including the National ID, Driving License or Passport. Opening an account is free, but cash out may be charged nominally.