BKash and Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd (DBBL) have collaborated with HomeSend, an international payment and money transfer hub, to offer their customers live remittance services.
Through a connection to HomeSend, bKash and DBBL clients can receive money in a fast, cost-effective and convenient way.
HomeSend, a joint venture of Mastercard, is affiliated with over 50 money transfer organisations in 136 countries. It enables cross-border and cross-network value transfers through a single connection.
HomeSend formally launched its services in Bangladesh virtually on Monday. State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak inaugurated its activities.
Palak, at the event, said, "Transactions through mobile banking are now three times higher than those through banks. The collaboration with HomeSend will result in more remittances through mobile banking."
Humayun Kabir, executive director of the Bangladesh Bank, said Mastercard has been providing services in Bangladesh since 1991.
He hopes that HomeSend, as a part of this organisation, will provide much better quality services.
"Everyone needs to work together to expand digital transaction systems all the more. The central bank will provide all kinds of cooperation," he added.
However, Humayun Kabir warned of action against those who try to commit irregularities.
Stephen Doyle, chief executive officer of HomeSend, said his organisation has been serving with a reputation as a member of the Mastercard family.
Referring to the need for a digital money transfer system during the pandemic, he said customers in Bangladesh will be able to avail their services at a much lower cost.
Vikas Varma, chief operating officer, South Asia, Mastercard, said cross-border transactions worth $715 billion are done annually. Bangladesh is one of the top remittance-receiving countries in the world. Therefore, Bangladesh is one of the targets for its business.
The use of HomeSend services will be cost-effective with no influence of middlemen, he said hoping that "more expatriates will be encouraged to send remittances through us."
Kamal Qadir, chief executive officer of bKash, said Bangladesh received $155 million in remittances through bKash last year. Remittance inflows through legal ways are increasing because of the government's 2% cash incentive against remittances.
Talking about a high rate of cash-out in mobile banking services, he said, "If digital transactions instead of cash increase, clients will not have to bear cash-out charges as there is no additional cost for digital transactions."
Arfan Ali, managing director of Bank Asia, said if it is easy and cost-effective to send remittances through legal channels, people will lean towards the digital system.
Bank Asia will serve as the settlement bank for bKash.
The event was hosted by Syed Mohammad Kamal, country director of MasterCard Bangladesh.