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bKash Opens Registration For bKash App, bKash’s Digital Payment Push Comes Full Circle

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Apr 21, 2018

Finally, bKash has opened up registration for its mobile app. Today, the MFS leader has launched a sign-up campaign for existing bKash users to download its app.

bKash users who take part in the campaign and download bKash app using the link that they receive through the campaign will get a chance to win cash bonus and rewards.

bKash has been working on its app for months now as an earlier report by Future Startup mentioned that bKash has been preparing to launch its app in April. Along with existing bKash services, the app will also allow QR Code based payment, has extra features such as voice assistance and payment reminder.

This a critical move for bKash given the fact that a handful of digital payment startups have been trying to eat into bKash’s urban market. bKash itself has also been pushing hard into payment market where it has managed to achieve a meaningful success, thanks to lack of competition from other MFS players.

However, things have been changing fast over the last couple of months. We have seen iPay’s formal public launch. Companies like SureCash and DBBL’s Rocket have also been pushing their product in the market.

It is critical for bKash to have a strong foothold in the digital payment market if it wants to sustain its MFS dominance. I wrote in bKash’s Relentless Push To Get Into Digital Payments Market:

“It is impossible to overstate the importance of digital payments for bKash. In fact, its long-term success depends on its success in the digital payments space.

bKash has experienced a tremendous growth over the past few years and has become synonymous with P2P money transfer in the country. As I mentioned earlier, some 22% Bangladeshis use the service and 4.5 million transactions happen per day.

After its success in the P2P money transfer space, the company is now eyeing digital payments for further growth. Digital payment is a huge market, way bigger than P2P money transfer market.

Since it already dominates P2P space, which means a large number of users already have bKash balance in their phone and they can effectively use that balance for all other purposes starting from grocery shopping to hotel booking to book purchasing to ticket purchasing.

This is what bKash has exactly been doing. Over the past few months, it has been aggressively pushing into payment area with all kind of offers and collaborations. It is offering cashback in areas like online shopping, hotel booking, and other areas.”

bKash’s success in payment is infinitely important for the company. Again from bKash’s digital payment push on why it is so important for bKash:

“Payment is important for more than one reason. As I said, it is a long-term sustainability issue for the company. For bKash, apart from being a big opportunity, it is critical to secure a position in the digital payments space for its long-term competitive advantage.

Payment is a big market and there will be more serious players in this space in the coming days.
We are already seeing an early sign of that. Take iPay, SureCash and a few other players who are trying to break into the market.

There is already a rumor in the market that India’s Paytm takes interest in Bangladesh market.
Payments and P2P money transfer are intimately connected. Adaptation of one service influences the adaptation of another.

More importantly, since payment is a more frequent need for most people and since smartphone has already become ubiquitous in Bangladesh, the chances are people will not be using different apps for different purposes which means bKash’s long-term success also depends on its ability to secure a strong position in the payment space.”

The digital payment market in Dhaka is changing fast. With the launch of bKash app, the market is going to be a very interesting one to watch. We are super excited to bring you more updates on the developments in the coming days.

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Cover photo: This video


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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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