Top Mobile Financial Services (MFS) Providers in Bangladesh

Top Mobile Financial Services (MFS) Providers in Bangladesh

The rapid adoption of financial technology is opening up a new era of inclusiveness in the finance sector of Bangladesh. Now financial and banking services are within reach of people from almost every corner of the country. These services can be accessed conveniently from wherever the user is if they have a mobile or internet connection. And all the credit goes to our very own Mobile Financial Service (MFS) providers that are reaching unreachable peaks in the economy every year. 

In the last fiscal year (FY22), the MFS industry experienced a 30.34% increase in transactions, reaching an exceptional level of Tk. 9,90,004 crore. In fact, in April 2022, transactions worth Tk 107,460 crore were conducted through MFS. Moreover, 25% of Bangladeshi adults now use MFS and online banking services for utility bill payments. According to Bangladesh Bank, 178.6 million mobile accounts are now registered for MFS. It is quite conspicuous that MFS providers have been reshaping the country’s financial sector for a while now. Today, as a part of celebrating their success, we will introduce you to the Mobile Financial Service (MFS) providers of Bangladesh. 

What is Mobile Financial Services (MFS)?

The term “Mobile Financial Services,” or MFS, essentially refers to the financial services that one can access through their mobile devices. These financial services may include anything from money transactions and payments to banking services such as taking a loan or making a deposit. MFS is also known as “Digital Financial Services” and “Mobile Banking.” A user can utilize such financial services and manage their account through SMS, USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data), or specific mobile applications. 

Bangladesh Bank introduced MFS in 2011 with the aim of reaching both the banked and unbanked population of the country with convenient financial and banking services. Within a few years, MFS started to lead Bangladesh’s FinTech industry. Most MFS providers in Bangladesh are operating under the authority of different banks, such as One Bank, Dutch Bangla Bank, and Rupali Bank. At present, you can conduct cash in and out, person-to-person, business-to-person, person-to-business, Government to person, and person to Government transactions through MFS. Although international transactions using MFS are not permitted yet, receiving inward foreign remittances through banks is permitted.

Top Mobile Financial Services (MFS) Providers in Bangladesh

bKash Limited, a subsidiary of BRAC Bank Limited, is considered to be the leading entity of the MFS industry in Bangladesh. It was launched in July 2011 as a joint venture between Money in Motion LLC and BRAC Bank Limited. Kamal Quadir and Iqbal Quadir are the two masterminds behind bKash.

bKash

bKash Limited, a subsidiary of BRAC Bank Limited, is considered to be the leading entity of the MFS industry in Bangladesh. It was launched in July 2011 as a joint venture between Money in Motion LLC and BRAC Bank Limited. Kamal Quadir and Iqbal Quadir are the two masterminds behind bKash. 

Now, bKash has more than 200,000 agents, serving over 50 million verified accounts all over the country. On Fortune Magazine’s annual list of “Change the World in 2017”, bKash was featured as one of the top 50 companies bringing changes regarding social concerns. Furthermore, the MFS provider was awarded the “Best Brand of Bangladesh” recognition by Bangladesh Bank Forum in 2019 and 2020. In November 2021, as the first Bangladeshi company, bKash’s valuation became $1 billion. 

bKash

Initially, Bkash used to offer only three services- Cash In, Cash Out, and Send Money. However, as time passed, MFS provided by bKash increased significantly. Now through USSD and the bKash app, the provider offers all sorts of payments, salary disbursement, loan repayments, Mobile Airtime recharge, interest against savings, and distribution of foreign remittances, along with all other essential services.

Nagad

Nagad is defined as a Bangladesh Post Office (BPO) operated Digital Financial Service, and it is the second largest MFS provider in the country. Nagad was launched on 26th March 2019 as a joint initiative between Bangladesh Post Office and Third Wave Technologies Ltd., offering services such Cash-In, Cash-Out, Mobile Recharge, and Send Money. Now it also provides services including payment services, EMI payments, Shariah MFS, and interest on savings.

Nagad

After launch, Nagad also experienced a surge of subscribers. It is the second company in Bangladesh to reach $1 billion in valuation. As of December 2021, Nagad had 5.80 crore registered accounts, and it onboarded 3.35 crore customers in 2021 alone. In the same year, 75% of the government disbursement of social safety net programs was done through Nagad. In 2022, the MFS provider reached its milestone of Tk. 1,000 crore transactions in a day. 
For showing exceptional growth in just a few years and its contribution to the financial inclusion goal of the country, Nagad received the Fintech Impact Award in November 2021. It also won the Digital Marketing Award, Mastercard Excellence Award, and Global Economics Award in 2021. The Global Economics also mentioned Nagad as “The World’s Fastest-Growing MFS.” 

Rocket

Dutch Bangla Bank is known to be the pioneer of mobile banking in Bangladesh. Rocket, the rebranded version of DBBL’s mobile banking system, was launched in March 2011. Its primary goal is to reach the unbanked population of the country with suitable banking services and promote saving up. Along with its banking services, the MFS provider offers services such as Cash-In, Cash-Out, payments, mobile recharge, disbursement of salaries, government allowances, foreign remittances, and the like.

Rocket

One key difference between Rocket and most other MFS providers is Rocket considers each account as a deposit, not e-money in an e-wallet. Therefore, the users are able to receive DBBL’s banking services through Rocket without having to physically visit the bank. Because of this reason, Rocket’s popularity is gradually increasing. Its customer base reached 2.66 crores after onboarding 47 lakh new ones in 2021. 

Upay

Upay was launched in March 2021 as a digital financial service brand of UCB FinTech Company Limited. Operated under the authority of United Commercial Bank, Upay strives to provide easy and convenient digital financial solutions and make itself available to people from all walks of life. Its core services include bill payment, shopping, mobile transactions, remittance and salary disbursement, airtime recharge, and so forth. Although Upay has been in the industry for just over a year, it integrated itself into many other services by building a network of allies.

Upay

Through Upay, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sent cash gifts to 2,500 women on Bangamata’s birthday in August 2022. The MFS provider also signed an agreement with Pran-RFL Group and Fashol Dotcom to disburse salaries and other allowances. On February 2022, it signed another contract with Pathao Courier to provide cash collection solutions. For its innovative multi-wallet feature, Upay also received the “FinTech Innovation of the Year” award from the Bangladesh Brand Forum in November 2021.

SureCash

SureCash itself is an open mobile payment platform that was launched in 2010. It offers a complete payment solution to users and payment partners, including person-to-person transactions. The MFS provider won the “Award of Excellent” by Bangladesh Bank as well.SureCash serves 20 million customers nationwide. The open payment network of SureCash currently includes partnerships with 4 local banks, 1,500 payment partners, and 180,000 retail agents. FSIBL FirstPay SureCash and Rupali Bank SureCash are the two Bangladesh Bank-approved MFS providers. 

SureCash

FSIBL FirstPay SureCash started operation in 2014 to make banking technology convenient to all ranges of people. This mobile service offers fast transactions, ease of operation, a secured payment system, cash deposits and withdrawals, a straightforward account opening feature, and affordable fund transfer facilities.

Rupali Bank SureCash started its journey in 2016, and since then, it has been involved in a number of Government disbursements. The MFS provider now has a customer base of one crore. It also facilitates utility bill payment, banking services, money transfers, mobile top-ups, remittance disbursement, shopping, fee payments to educational institutions, and salary disbursement for many businesses. Rupali Bank SureCash now has more than 200 distributors and 1.5 lakh agents in the country. 

mCash

mCash, a subsidiary of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd., started its journey on December 2012. The primary financial service offered by mCash is providing 24/7 mobile banking facilities to IBBL account holders. Through mCash, IBBL aims to reach underprivileged people with fast and convenient Shariah banking services. It also promotes cashless transactions and payments, financial inclusions, and quick disbursement of remittances.

mCash

MYCash

In 2014, MYCash was launched as an effort to rebrand Mercantile Bank’s previous MFS brand, MPay. MYCash aims to offer its users a wide range of financial products and services that are easy and secure. The MFS provider offers services such as send money, cash in, cash out, airtime recharge, bank deposit, merchant payment, bill payment, and fee payment. The current payment partners of MYCash include Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board, Protiva Group, Golden Harvest, Aramex Dhaka Limited, Bengal Group, and more.

MYCash

Tap

Trust Axiata Pay, or Tap, is a joint venture between Trust Bank and the Asian tech investor Axiata Digital Limited. It was launched in May 2020. Tap’s goal is to offer sophisticated Digital Lifestyle Services and reform the transaction technology in the country. The MFS provider currently offers person-to-person money transfers, various fee and bill payments, payments for insurance services, merchant payments, airtime recharge, cash out, and add money. Tap also made deals with Sonali Bank and BRAC Bank to provide digital services.

Tap

Islamic Wallet

The MFS provider, Islamic Wallet, operates under the authority of Al-Arafah Islami Bank Limited, and it was launched in December 2013. Islamic Wallet is the second Sharia-based MFS provider in the country. The primary goal of the MFS provider is to strictly maintain Shariah banking laws, rules, and regulations and offer services accordingly. To offer its users a mobile banking system that ensures the best use of their money, Islamic Wallet provides services such as fund transfer, cash-in, cash-out, bank account management, bill payment, airtime recharge, paying insurance premiums and loan installments, tuition fee payment, and so on. Moreover, to ensure full compliance with Shariah law, a highly regarded Shariah Supervisory Council is involved.

Islamic Wallet

OK Wallet

One Bank Limited launched its own MFS brand, OK Wallet, in 2018, to offer faster, safer, and more convenient services to both One Bank’s core customers and mobile banking customers. With OK Wallet, users can recharge their mobile balance, send money, shop, pay bills, transfer money, receive inward remittances, make insurance payments, and so on. OK Wallet also enables you to pay credit card bills issued by almost any bank.

OK Wallet

TeleCash 

TeleCash, a subsidiary of Southeast Bank Limited, launched its operations in 2015. The primary goal of this initiative is to enhance customer satisfaction by facilitating fast transaction procedures. TeleCash offers services such as cash-in, cash-out, fund transfer, merchant payments, mobile recharge, bill payment, DPS payment, tuition fee, credit card bill payment, and disbursement of salaries and micro-credit. 

TeleCash 

Tap`n Pay

Tap ‘n Pay, a 4th generation MFS, launched in 2018. It is a joint venture between Mobility, Tap Pay (Bangladesh) Limited, and Meghna Bank Limited. The MFS provider offers a prepaid account where your contact number will be your account number. You will get an NFC (Near Field Communication) card that you can tap on a POS (Point of Sales) machine and conduct a cashless money transfer. There are also NFC bracelets, key rings, and apps available.

Tap`n Pay

Along with money transfer, Tap ‘n Pay offers services including cash-in, cash-out, airtime recharge, money transfer, bill payment, microloan, insurance premium payment, shopping, tax payment, and disbursement of salaries and government allowances.

Wrapping Up

The flourishing industry of Mobile Financial Services in Bangladesh is undoubtedly showing immense promise. It has been offering new scopes to expand our horizon in the new era of FinTech and the financial inclusion of people regardless of where they live. Furthermore, with outstanding innovations, these competent MFS providers are streamlining economic activities in all sectors, including education, business, foreign remittance, and banking, even at the individual level. There is no doubt that the continuous evolution of MFS in Bangladesh will make it one of the prime contributors to drive the country’s economy in the near future.

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