Digital payment makes life easier for citizens

Nagad upgrades daily life to digital path, offers encourage tens of thousands

| Update:
January 23, 2022 9:34:30 p.m.

Asma Begum, a housewife and mother of two children, resides in Mohammadpur in the capital. Because her husband works full-time, she is responsible for the well-being of the family and must act as the decision maker on everything from groceries to luxury purchases to maintain households.

“As a middle-class family, we must always carefully manage our limited resources and income,” she said.

As the coronavirus spread across the country, Asma decided not to keep any domestic helpers due to the possible spread of the infection. She realized that she needed a washing machine at that time.

“I didn’t hesitate to buy a washing machine when I learned that I could get a 10% discount if I paid with my Nagad wallet,” she added to express her joy.

When consumers in Bangladesh, like Asma, discover that they can save money on buying the products or services they want, they become more interested in shopping. They are also increasingly turning to digital means of payment, which are easier and more secure than cash transactions, and also come with attractive offers.

To respond to the changing shopping habits of consumers, companies such as banks, fintech, e-commerce and others are continuously launching rewarding campaigns that benefit both the company and the customers. These efforts not only benefit businesses by increasing sales, but also drive digital payment across the country.

According to the latest data, Bangladesh achieved 85% growth in August 2021 by gradually shifting from traditional banking system to digital financial transactions. According to central bank figures, digital transactions increased by 59% to BDT 108.25 billion in August 2021.

The number of transactions on the Bangladesh Electronic Funds Transfer Network (BEFTN) increased by 23%. According to central bank figures, card transactions (both domestic and foreign) increased by 53.5% in terms of number and 36.4% in terms of volume.

While card usage is still low especially in a developing country like Bangladesh, Mobile Financial Service or MFS has taken the lead in seizing the opportunity to introduce brand new innovations from transactional facilities to low cost and great offers like rebates and cashback, all of which have helped boost digital payments tremendously over the years.

MFS has over 100 million users in Bangladesh. This is an important step in the country’s efforts to promote financial inclusion for all.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused consumers to redefine their needs and has also helped them realize the importance of contactless aspects of transactions compared to paper money. MFS operators also offer exciting offers and campaigns in partnership with various merchants for users to make their digital payment experiences faster and safer and meet all their payment needs. This dramatically boosts digital transactions in a way never seen before.

For example, when the country was battling the delta variant of the coronavirus earlier in April 2021, Marchant payments via mobile wallets saw a significant increase during that time. Consumers transacted BDT 27.59 billion via mobile wallet alone at many Marchant outlets. The transaction volume stood at BDT 29.50 billion in October 2021. This shows how consumers are opting for digital transactions and depending on exciting campaigns to meet their daily needs.

MFS operators now plan to continue to provide these unique opportunities to consumers by launching periodic and year-round promotions. By assessing consumer needs and expectations, operators are working tirelessly to onboard more merchants. In this way, MFS operators not only encourage customers to pay digitally, but also give them the opportunity to save more money on the purchase of desired goods.

Nagad, for example, a mobile finance service of the Bangladesh Postal Department, currently has more than 25,000 partner retailers and merchants. Throughout the year, the operator promotes digital payments at Marchant partner establishments across the country, where consumers have access to multiple exclusive offers.

Nagad recently launched a campaign, offering customers to enjoy up to 16% discount and cash back on 126 brands by making payment with Nagad wallet. Nagad customers were able to take advantage of the special discount and cashback offer. Supermarkets, restaurants, airlines, fashion products, e-commerce, electronics, footwear, furniture, hotels and resorts, Internet and satellite TV, accessories, tours and travel are some of the categories. . The operator carefully assessed the needs and expectations of its consumer every day and defined the range of offers accordingly.

Nagad runs many such campaigns throughout the year, which significantly boosts digital payment in the country by giving customers the opportunity to spend less and buy more.

“Supporting Bangladesh’s goal of a cashless society by promoting digital payments is our key program as MFS. We want to continue to offer a variety of exclusive discounts and cash back at our partner outlets across the country,” said Tanvir a Mishuk, Managing Director of Nagad, a disruptive MFS carrier in the country.

“We will launch more such campaigns so that none of our consumers are deprived of the opportunity to purchase the products they want, and we believe this will ultimately drive the adoption of digital payments in Bangladesh,” Tanvir added.

It should be noted that in 2021, Nagad users saved more than BDT 2 billion through campaigns and discounts at various stores and merchant services in Nagad. The MFS operator currently has approximately 58 million registered users.

Additionally, Nagad offers users to shop on more than 700 e-commerce platforms through Nagad Wallet, and almost all of them offer various attractive features including cash back. Transactions through Nagad are also popular on many Facebook-based e-commerce sites, making shopping online easier.

Speaking to The Financial Express, CPD Director (Research), Dr Khandker Golam Moazzem said that the MFS has witnessed an upward trend in limited areas.

Some MFS operators are doing better in terms of financial inclusion, but many still lag behind, he argued.

The only ordinary transaction is now available in the service except loan, larger deposit, etc., observed Dr. Moazzem.

He also emphasized the development of people’s skills, digital equality and equal access to services.

Qualifying that the service should not be city centered only, he said it was extremely necessary to involve the low income group and women in the services to improve financial inclusion.

Since Bangladeshi consumers still have sensitivities due to their concern for price, in order to preserve and gain market share, digital payment providers are now focusing more on price campaigns around special occasions – the consumers also wanting price cuts to buy products they wouldn’t normally want to buy at full value.

While offering discounts is a common method of attracting new customers, the campaigns that Nagad brings promote price competition within the industry, allowing customers to benefit from a variety of offers and benefits. Customers benefit from healthy competition because they have the opportunity to choose and the market remains balanced.

About Matthew R. Dailey

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