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Daak Taka, D Money's Ambition and Digital Payment

Bangladesh Post Office in collaboration with Fintech company D Money has announced a new digital wallet service called Daak Taka.

The parties plan to launch the product within the next three months and will allow people to open an account for a fee of 2 taka. The product, which is the first such product from Dhaka-based Fintech company D Money, is particularly aimed at improving financial inclusion.

The account holder will receive a handful of services 1) deposit and withdraw cash 1) transfer funds 3) make payments to designated shops and outlets that accept Daak Taka and one can simply use it either via a mobile phone or and this is the most important part, a “postal cash card or mPOS (mobile point of sale) 2) the partners also plan to integrate payment gateway and other financial tools so that users can take advantage and transact with financial institutions 3) Near Field Communications (NFC) and Quick Response (QR) code facilities

Understanding the reality

From a distribution perspective, this makes perfect sense. Bangladesh has over 8,500 post offices across the country including remotest parts which will allow the service deep penetration.

Having said that, BPO and D Money have to figure out a few things 1) bKash and in many instances, SureCash has a strong presence in many of these places which will make it challenging for D Money and BPO to ensure adaptation given that former two services also offer almost similar kind of features. I suspect there will be other features or benefits that would attract users 2) BPO has a reputation for being one of the ineffective public institutions.

There is no denying that it has done some interesting things over the past years, but still it has a compromised image in the market and usage of BPO as a service is in decline so far I understand due to all kinds of other services that offer similar services that BPO offers and albeit of better quality and reliability. This is another challenge that D Money will have to deal with.

I suspect the advantage D Money enjoys going with the BPO is a regulatory one. Since Post office does not require to deal with Bangladesh Bank in order to launch this type of service, it allows the company to enter the market easily as well as test its product that will allow it to collect feedback and fine-tune its product further.

What I suspect, in the long term, is that D Money will look into the other avenues for better distribution.

D Money’s Ambition and Digital payment in Bangladesh

From the Daily Star:

“D-Money Vice Chairman Sonia Bashir Kabir said every available platform would be offered for transactions as their main target was to create a cashless society. “Our target is to boost financial inclusion and within one year we want to change the face of mobile financial services in the country,” she said.

Transaction charges will be nominal, less than what the market currently offers, and the post office will get a huge share of the earnings, said the developers. A top postal official said they did not require any licence from any authority as they were not under the central bank.”

The most important phrase here is “cashless society” and this brings it home. The importance of digital payment is growing every day. It can surely be predicted that we will see an uptick in digital payment and usage of cashless payment solutions in 2018.

From bKash’s Relentless Push To Get Into Digital Payments Market:

“Competition is slowly growing in Dhaka’s payment space. There are some 17 providers of mobile financial services (MFS) in Bangladesh. However, the two largest, bKash and Rocket, have a combined market share of over 90%.

There are new players entering the market as well. Among them, iPay, co-founded by Zakaria Swapan of Priyo.com is the most prominent one. The startup which is now beta testing its service seems to have developed a superior technology and a long-term ambition. India’s Paytm also takes interest in Bangladesh market.

Although Dhaka’s digital ecosystem is still at its early stage, it is growing fast. It is a big market. Mobile phone penetration has gone through the roof over the past few years. Given the reality, digital payment has immense potential in the coming years.”

Founded by Aref Bashir and Sonia Bashir Kabir, D Money originally started in 2006 as Syntec. The company later rebranded to D Money. The company raised an investment of $5 million from undisclosed sources.

From D Money’s website:

“D Money is a Financial Technology Service Provider. Its mission is to reach a large segment of the citizenry of the country and provide seamless and secure Digital Financial Services. It is our belief that with a multi-channel access proposition that includes Cards and Applications and integrated services we can ease the cash to digital payments transition.

We aim to comply with the most rigorous Security and Compliance standards and ensure a seamless and rich experience by a user.”

The company’s first initiative was in 2016 when it launched a service for micro-financial services through mobile phones in collaboration with Uddipan Energy Ltd.

The digital payment industry is becoming interesting by the day. I’m super excited to see the development in 2018. Read our digital payment thread here.

Photo credit: D Money, Sonia Bashir Kabir at FB: Marzina Begum - First client of Daak Taka Wallet opening her first account. She did not have a bank account before. Honorable Advisor following the steps on Marzina’s feature phone. Daak Taka is powered by D Money with exclusive partnership with ITCL/Q cash

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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