• Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

ED: Taking MFS to the next level

  • Published at 01:12 am December 15th, 2020
Mobile Banking
Bigstock

Even in rural areas, nowadays most people have access to mobile phones -- this is enough to avail basic services

The popularity of mobile financial services is growing day by day. It is good to see this rapid growth in Bangladesh, because for a country like ours, where so many do not have access to conventional banking services, this is the platform that can save the day.

Furthermore, as with any technologically-forward society, Bangladesh too is steadily moving to reduce its cash transactions. No doubt the Covid-19 pandemic has hastened this development, with more people opting to make transactions remotely rather than in person, and also with greater reluctance to physically handle cash, particularly in the early part of the pandemic a few months ago. MFS comes in handy at point-of-sale terminals, as well as for salary disbursements and payment of utility bills.

These changes, however, are objectively for the better, pandemic or not, and are a crucial part of empowering the poor as well as a step towards Digital Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is uniquely placed to take advantage of the benefits of MFS. Even in rural areas, nowadays most people have access to mobile phones -- this is enough to avail basic services. 

They do not, however, largely, have smartphone access as of yet, nor do many in rural areas have the digital literacy required to take advantage of smartphone apps. MFS, already strong in the country, could leap ahead through greater smartphone usage and internet literacy among the population: The scanning of QR codes, for example, requires a smartphone.

To that end, it would be good to ensure rudimentary knowledge of smartphone apps, so that MFS in the country can be taken to the next level. The entire economy will benefit from this, no doubt.

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