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Digital Payment And Services Platform Dmoney Launches Officially, Aims To Push The Boundaries Of Digital Payment

Dmoney, the fintech startup that aims to "be the catalyst of cash to digital transformation" and make digital lifestyle simple for consumers in Bangladesh, has formally launched in Dhaka on 30th September 2019 in a lunch event held at Westin Dhaka.

Founded by Sonia Bashir Kabir, former Managing Director of Microsoft Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and Laos, and Aref R Bashir, a former Senior Software Engineer at Sun Microsystem and currently, Managing Director of the fintech startup, Dmoney aims to build a financial services company at the intersection of digital payment and services. The company describes itself as “a Digital Payments and Services Platform” and claims that it has Intellectual Property (IP) rights for Dmoney software.

While most digital payment startups in Dhaka has been trying to address digital payment as a standalone service, Dmoney has introduced an app that looks more like an aggregator with digital payment as a fundamental hook that connects everything else.

The thesis that Dmoney puts forward, digital payment and services platform, suggests that the company aims to push the boundaries in order to encourage digital payment adoption, which has seen a rather sluggish growth despite the push from bKash in the past months and players like iPay and others.

What you need to know

  • Dmoney is not your regular digital payment app. The company aims to build an operation at the intersection of digital payment and services.
  • The company aims to integrate lifestyle and financial services with digital payment. There are regular payment services - sending and receiving money On top of that, the platform aggregates a range of services such as mobile top-up, bill payment, ticketing, foods, insurance, health and many more on-demand and basic services that people need daily. Currently, there are 2,500 offline and online stores that accept Dmoney.
  • Users can easily open an account from their smartphones and connect Dmoney app with their bank accounts and can also cash-in from any debit card or credit card.
  • Dmoney has also been building a QR alliance. It plans to grow its QR payment touchpoints to 100,000 by the year 2020.

The Takeaway

Payment is a big market. It is many times bigger than the P2P mobile money service. Interestingly, while bKash has absolute dominance in the P2P mobile market segment of the business, the company has yet to produce similar success in the digital payment space. Yes, it is pretty recently that bKash has launched its app and started pushing into the payment segment but the growth seems steady and slow at best. The scenario is no better for players like iPay or Rocket or Ok Wallet.

Dmoney, apparently, looks into the challenge from a different perspective. While it is fundamentally a similar product like bKash when it comes to digital payment, it aims to position and play in the services market because it makes more sense to do so, at least from "the breaking into the market" perspective.

The reasoning, probably, is that if people could use the same app for multiple purposes they are likely doing so and if the experience is seamless and there are incentives for doing so, it should be no brainer. Thus Dmoney is not your regular digital payment app. It is more close to the narrative like super-app or everything app. The distinction is, however, that Dmoney's path to everything app is likely to differ from other similar players because of its root in payment.

Latest Update at 8:29 PM, 01 October, 2019: The story has been updated with new information.

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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