Internet banking users double, transactions triple in two years

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Although the pandemic situation has eased and the economy is fully operational, the number of customers and transactions is increasing

April 27, 2022, 10:40 a.m.

Last modification: April 27, 2022, 2:15 PM

Infographic: TBS

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Infographic: TBS

The number of internet banking users has doubled and transactions have tripled in the past two years due to pandemic-related movement restrictions that have forced people to do everything from shopping to banking online.

Although the pandemic situation has eased and the economy is fully operational, the number of customers and transactions are increasing.

According to the central bank, in February this year, the number of internet banking customers increased to 46.99 lakh from 33.13 lakh in the same month of 2021, with customer growth of 41.84%. in one year.

In February 2020, the number of users was only 26.05 lakh and the number of customers grew by around 21 lakh in two years.

Not only customers but also transactions have increased. In February this year, the trading volume stood at Tk 17,763 crore compared to Tk 8,477 crore in February 2021. Within a year, the trading volume more than doubled.

February 2020 saw a trading volume of Tk 6,299 crore, which is a third of the trading volume in February this year.

In early 2004, AB Bank, Dutch-Bangla Bank and Dhaka Bank introduced checking account balances online with internet banking. Little by little, other advantages were added.

At present, there are various facilities such as transfer of balance from one bank to another, payment of various charges, payment of hotel and restaurant bills, ticketing of buses, trains and buses. aircraft and money transfers to various accounts using mobile financial services (MFS).

According to a recent study by the United Nations-led Better Than Cash Alliance and a2i, digital payment systems have the potential to increase gross domestic product (GDP) by 1.7%, or more than 50,000 crore Tk.

At the same time, to facilitate Internet banking, all bank branches in the country are now online. According to the central bank, online services were launched by all 10,941 branches of various banks across the country last February.

In February 2020, 92% of agencies were already online.

The central bank has also played a role in the expansion of Internet banking services by revising its policy. In September last year, it increased the maximum limit for internet banking transactions.

A client’s daily transaction limit has been increased from Tk2 lakh to Tk5 lakh. At the same time, the limit of a single transaction has been increased from Tk 50,000 to Tk 1 lakh. The maximum number of daily transactions for a client has also been increased from five to 10.

Complaints about NPSB online transactions

The National Payment Switch Bangladesh (NPSB) is a popular way to transfer money from one bank to another online. This facility is provided to customers by Bangladesh Bank as an intermediary.

Usually, when a customer transfers a balance online through NPSB, it reaches the recipient’s account within a short period of time. However, many have complained that it is embarrassing and inconvenient to take advantage of this.

Customers report that when a balance transfer is executed, the money is deducted from the sender’s account even though it sometimes does not reach the customer’s account. In most cases, the money is returned to the sender’s account within one to three days. However, several customers have complained that they had to wait a week to a month to get their money back.

There have been a number of such complaints from customers on Facebook groups regarding internet banking. They demanded that measures be taken to reduce the suffering of customers.

“Since online money transfers are done by technology, sometimes it can lead to some kind of transaction failure,” Md Arfan Ali, Chairman and CEO of Bank Asia, told The Business Standard.

He said these factors also depend on the system operated by Bangladesh Bank. However, it is the responsibility of banks to properly maintain Application Programming Interface (API) connectivity with them.

“This could reduce the incidence of failed transactions. However, Bangladesh Bank should also be proactive in addressing the issue of repayments,” he added.

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