Admittedly, for a lot of people, Bangladesh is not the first place that comes to mind when the issue of advancements in payment technology come up. But a new partnership between Transfast LLC and BRAC Bank Ltd of Bangladesh may change some of that perception, as users now have a way to instantly make bank transfers into certain bank accounts.
Transfast customers already had the ability to rapidly send money online to a variety of locations, using either a mobile platform or by visiting agent locations around the globe. In turn, Bangladeshi recipients could either pick up the money at a wide array of locations throughout the country, or could have the money sent directly to bank accounts. Such activities now are augmented by this new partnership, allowing the 166 branches of BRAC Bank to receive the cash. Plus, users can get in at 50 different SME Unit Offices, as well as over 100,000 bKash locations.
It would be easy to dismiss Bangladesh as an inconsequential part of the mobile commerce market, but that's simply not the case; the World Bank notes that, in 2014, Bangladesh saw fully $15 billion in remittances flow into the country, making it the eighth largest such operation on the planet. Remittances are fully twice per capita income, and roughly equivalent to 80 percent of the receiving household's total income.
Transfast's CEO, Samish Kumar, offered up some comment around the partnership, saying “BRAC Bank is one of the leading banks in Bangladesh and a pioneer in sophisticated technology in serving all its clients, and we are excited to offer our customers the ability to deposit money instantly and securely there. We know that our customers who send money to accounts held at BRAC Bank will enjoy this added convenience.” BRAC Bank's CEO and managing director Syed Mahbubur Rahman noted similar satisfaction, expressing pleasure at being Bangladesh's first bank to partner directly with Transfast for instant bank deposit services.
It's generally held that, when money is more readily accessible, it's more frequently spent. While there's certainly value in savings and frugality, taken too far, it can actually destroy an economy and bring down a nation. When it's considered just how much value flows through Bangladesh in terms of remittances, making those payments more accessible and thus more readily spent would have a positive net effect on the country's economy. Basically, by making it easier to send and receive remittances, users can put that money into use more rapidly, meaning that vendors have access to new markets and potentially new revenue streams. That's a situation that has benefit all around, and those that can make such transactions smoother, like Transfast, stand to benefit substantially.
As to just how much benefit will be realized here, well, only time will tell. But still, any move to improve this large part of the Bangladeshi economy should have an ultimately positive impact.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino
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