'After successful verification, the accounts would be reactivated as soon as possible'
Mobile financial service (MFS) provider Nagad has sought transaction details for scrutiny from its users whose accounts have been temporarily suspended.
After successful verification, the accounts would be reactivated as soon as possible, said Aminur Rahman, Nagad's chief marketing officer in a video clip posted on Nagad's official Facebook page.
Last week, Nagad suspended about 13,000 accounts affiliated with controversial e-commerce platforms after it found evidence of suspicious transactions.
He reiterated that accounts which were temporarily disabled, resulted due to suspicious transactions made from e-commerce platforms Sirajganj Shop and Aladiner Prodip.
After careful scrutiny of refund amounts, merchant accounts, as well as expert recommendations, the accounts were suspended, he also said.
The Nagad CMO also assured that despite the temporary freeze, users' account balances will remain safe and secure.
He further clarified that Nagad has no affiliation regarding merchant payments made by users, and that the MFS provider simply operates as a payment gateway.
However, aggrieved customers can report to Nagad's website and also from their My Nagad App, he noted.
Earlier on Tuesday, a group of agitated Nagad users protested outside the MFS provider's head office, seeking restoration of their frozen accounts.
The MFS provider had issued the suspension notice through SMS, asking users to call 16167 for further clarification on the matter.
Transactions of those accounts were suspended temporarily and an official complaint was lodged with the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC), the SMS mentioned.
At the same time, the list of the accounts was provided to Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).
Users still annoyed
Monirul Islam, a resident of Old Dhaka, said: “Whatever the case is, general people did not make any ill decisions. We want Nagad to immediately reactivate our accounts.”
Similarly, Yasin Patwary from Gazipur said, “I do not understand why our accounts would be frozen over refunds. We have additional funds, other than those refund amounts, which we need for our daily use."
Citing users account suspension and refunds, Muhammad Zahidul Islam Sajal, head of public communication at Nagad, said that Nagad's initiative seeking transaction details of those users is being done in consultation with Bangladesh Bank.
“We are not taking any steps on our own, without discussing with the central bank. Bangladesh Bank has not yet responded on the timeframe for reactivating the accounts, but we are hopeful,” he added.
He also said that the security of the software is verified through algorithms. It is an automated system that measures whether there is any suspicious or crime-related activity.
The algorithm raises the flag whenever there is a suspicious transaction, as is the case with e-commerce sites for refunds. And it has to be set up, there is nothing new to modify, Sajal said.
Nevertheless, they sought everyone's cooperation. As an MFS, Nagad has reached a lot of customers and the customers are also satisfied with the services of Nagad. After overcoming the ongoing issues, Nagad will move forward according to its goals, he added.
Nagad's renaming issue
Spokesperson of Bangladesh Bank Md Serajul Islam, also its executive director, told Dhaka Tribune: “As we know, Nagad is an institution of Bangladesh Post Office. But now we hear that its ownership and name are both going to change. In that case, in the case of opening a new account, it is necessary to get the necessary permission without any objection from the postal department.”
“After receiving it, you have to send the documents to Bangladesh Bank. Therefore, the banks have been instructed not to open a trust/settlement account of “Nagad Limited” without the permission of the Postal Department and Bangladesh Bank.”
He further said that in fact, if the name is changed, the new authorized account will be operated, under which case transparency is necessary as to the money and transactions in the previous account. Considering all aspects, instructions have been given to bring transparency and alleviate any hassle.
After its launch on March 26, 2019, Bangladesh Post Office’s MFS Nagad has been working to bring the financial transactions of the people to the digital platform and ease it.
In the last two and a half years, the operator bagged 54 million customers with a daily average transaction of Tk700 crore.