Bangladesh isn’t far behind when it comes to technological advancement. It enjoys an internet penetration rate of 60.7%, which continues to open avenues for businesses to thrive. Despite the pandemic, the country’s payment landscape continues to grow in leaps and bounds, especially with the introduction of digital technology.
The demand for goods from overseas is booming as younger generations join the internet. All in all, this increase translates into a growing potential for increasing online sales. Businesses need to reduce the complexity of international payments to cater to a global customer base. But the main question is, how can online businesses achieve this feat? To ride the boom, businesses need to keep up with the times and accept online payments to increase online sales. Before diving into the top payment methods in Bangladesh, here are some pertinent trends determining the country’s payment landscape.
Bangladesh Payment Trends for 2022
The payment trends in Bangladesh have witnessed an unprecedented change with the continued rise in digital transactions. In Bangladesh, the total transaction value for the digital payments market will touch $9.83billion in US dollars by 2022.
- Bangladesh Bank increased the daily interbank internet transaction cap, which included a five-fold increase for institutional customers. As a result of this policy shift, a higher number of customers are conducting safe online transactions from the comfort of their homes, thereby expanding the country’s usage of online banking.
- Contactless payment has become a popular trend in Bangladesh, led by mobile financial services Bkash and Nagad. As per reports, 18.5 lakh new accounts were opened in September 2022, while Tk 14,723.3Cr was deposited, and 13,895.8 Cr was withdrawn.
- Due to the rising demand and to capture a more significant portion of the Bangladesh market, Nagad reduced the withdrawal charge to BDT 9.99 for every BDT 1,000. It has introduced additional cashback promotions for online purchases to lure more customers to join its ecosystem.
- Buy Now, Pay Later is revolutionizing the eCommerce sector. As per reports, B2C eCommerce will gradually rise at 12,30% CAGR from 2022-2026. The “Buy Now, Pay Later” schemes have become simpler and only require a few clicks. Consumers can pay interest-free instalments, resulting in greater affordability.
These trends will continue to influence the Bangladeshi economy as more customers become aware of and utilize the opportunities.
Top Payment Methods in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is no longer lagging in moving ahead with the trends. The pandemic harmed the Bangladeshi economy, leading to a decline in using cash as a payment method.
As the pandemic phases out, there is an ongoing movement to incorporate some modern banking methods. As per a recent report issued by World Bank’s Global Findex database, only 50% of the local populace have access to bank accounts. However, despite the wavering trends, there is still an ongoing dependency on how cash, credit cards, and other popular payment methods govern the financial landscape.
Here are some of the most common payment methods in Bangladesh:
The initial pandemic days came with a lot of uncertainty and unknown risks. Many people feared visiting the ATMs, fearing contracting Covid’19, causing a decline in using cash as a payment method.
The lack of cash flow within the economy led to a surge in the rise of cashless and contactless payment methods, which became the preferred choice for the local inhabitants. Over the years, there has been a significant increase in how cash flows within the economy. Despite the new payment methods, cash is one of Bangladesh’s most popular payment methods, accounting for over half of all payments.
Government entities, businesses, and residents prefer to make payments in cash, even though there are plenty of payment options within the country. The paradigm shift from cash to cashless and digital sources will be possible only when the government’s regulations favor using alternate payment sources.
2. Credit Cards
In March 2022, Bangladesh saw an unprecedented increase in credit card transactions. The total transaction volume increased from 19.15% in February, leading to about Tk2,513 crore. Alternatively, debit card transactions rose to Tk24,701 crore in January 2022. The festival season and the lifting of travel restrictions led to a massive increase in credit card sales. The pandemic has played its part in making credit and debit cards the preferred payment method for consumers within the economy.
Additionally, cards are handy for foreign purchases. While card payments are growing in Bangladesh, they are still less prevalent than in other parts of the world. There are two major credit card brands in Bangladesh: MasterCard and Visa, and some local card companies that offer credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards.
3. Bank Transfers
Mobile banking has seen increasing growth in Bangladesh, especially post the pandemic. The digital economy has seen a lot of movement from cash to cashless digital transactions. With the addition of new services, there has been a 29% increase in mobile banking transactions. There were about Tk57,289 crore transactions in January 2021, which rose to Tk2,210 crore in January 2022.
People are becoming comfortable with the increase in banking transactions as they understand the comfort and simplicity of transferring money from online banking platforms. Companies and businesses use online banking to pay wages, salaries, and other allowances. As per the Central Bank of Bangladesh, about 13 banks offer mobile banking to the population.
Some popular banks in Bangladesh are -
- Agrani Bank Limited.
- Bangladesh Development Bank.
- BASIC Bank Limited.
- Janata Bank Limited.
- Rupali Bank Limited.
- Sonali Bank Limited.
4. Local Digital/Mobile Wallets
Digital or mobile wallets assist with peer-to-peer transactions and in-store purchases. For online sellers, it’s essential to accept local digital wallets.
Many local digital wallets are available in Bangladesh, including bKash, Sure Cash, Dhaka WASA, and DBBL Mobile Banking. Although mobile wallets are gaining popularity in Bangladesh, they’re still less common than credit cards. When accepting digital wallets, you’ll need to integrate a payment gateway. These gateways process the payments and send them to your account, resulting in a hassle-free payment model.
Bkash is a mobile money service in Bangladesh that allows customers to send and receive money using their mobile phones. The platform is one of the most popular mobile money services, as it’s used by over 22% of Bangladesh citizens. Bkash was launched in 2010 by BRAC bank; ever since its launch, it has rapidly become one of Bangladesh’s most popular mobile money services.
Customers can send and receive money using mobile phones, without worrying about fraudulent transactions or delayed payments. The platform offers other financial services, such as airtime top-up, utility bill payment, and mobile banking. The mobile wallet has significantly impacted the lives of people in Bangladesh.
Not only has it helped increase financial inclusion, but also made financial transactions easier for people.
SureCash is a reliable and trusted payment system that many businesses and individuals in Bangladesh use. As a user, you can send and receive money using your mobile phone. SureCash is one of the most widely used payment methods, with over half a million users. The app offers a convenient and safe way to send and receive money and make online payments.
The platform maintains partnerships with more than 41,000 retail agents, 350 payment partners, and several regional banks in Bangladesh.
DBBL Mobile Banking
Dutch-Bangla Bank Rocket, commonly known as DBBL Mobile Banking, is the primary payment method in Bangladesh. It’s state-owned and one of the first largest banks providing banking services in Bangladesh. It operates without a physical bank branch to assist customers in rural areas. DBBL Mobile Banking is a convenient and secure way to access your DBBL banking accounts using your mobile phone. With their mobile app, you can check your account balances, view transactions, transfer funds, and more.
iPay is one of the first payment service providers in Bangladesh, which provides a seamless suite of services to customers in the form of mobile payments. The company’s goal is to provide a secure payment ecosystem for people and businesses to come together and transact safely. With the mobile wallet, you can send/receive payments, pay for purchases, top up your mobile, pay bills, and much more. To ensure a foolproof integration, iPay is linked with 57 commercial banks within Bangladesh to revolutionize the very essence of transaction management.
How inai Helps You Integrate Bangladesh Payment Methods
Payment aggregators like inai help businesses integrate their online business portals with various payment gateways. You can utilize a wealth of popular local payment methods and currencies for your checkout as an online business.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective, user-friendly platform to manage your integrations, head over to inai. Not only is the platform easy to use, but it’s also PCI compliant, making every transaction secure.
With inai, you can improve your checkout conversion rates and scale your businesses without worrying about the hassles of integrating multiple payment gateways. As a payment aggregator platform, inai support over 300+ international payment methods from countries worldwide, including Bangladesh and South East Asia.