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In Dhaka, Consumers Pay with Cash, but Digital Payments Are the Future

Bangladesh remains a cash-dominant market, even for goods purchased online. But the rapid growth of mobile wallet shows that things are going to be dramatically different in the coming years.

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Popularity of mobile and digital wallets is growing as cash-only consumers skip credit cards in favor of payments made via mobile phones. Bangladesh has experienced an incredible growth in mobile banking in the recent years. According to the Bangladesh Bank data, the industry saw BDT 157,773.31 crore in transactions through mobile phones in 2015 which was 53% up from the previous year.

At the same time, Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world having an incredible smartphone penetration. The convergence of mobile banking and smartphone penetration will significantly influence how people shop and pay in the coming years. People are already using mobile wallets for all kinds of purposes starting from sending money to paying bills to eat out at restaurants.

Payment is one of the biggest concern of ecommerce growth in Bangladesh. Almost 85% of payment for digitally purchased goods are made via COD [cash on delivery] that slows down the entire process.

Ecommerce platforms are looking for options in order to wean consumers off cash on delivery. A number of online payment gateways are working hard to popularise digital payment in the country. The rise of mobile wallets suggests that mobile and digital payments will grow significantly in the coming years.


About the sponsor: This story is made possible in part by our friends at eCourier Limited, a next generation logistics company based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, whose generosity enables us to publish premium stories online at no cost to our readers. Thank you, eCourier, for teaming up with us in 2016.

Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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