Banks not keen on boosting card transactions: e-commerce vendors
Banks are not taking proper initiatives to boost online transactions by way of cards, said e-commerce entrepreneurs yesterday.
At present, the e-commerce industry's total transactions amount to Tk 1,700 crore a year and of the sum only Tk 400 crore were made through the digital payment system, they said at a roundtable on the third day of the BASIS SoftExpo 2018.
Typically, customers, out of habit, pay with cash if they do not get any offer for making payments online, said Zia Ashraf, chief executive officer of Chaldal.com, the leading online grocery seller.
Security is a big concern for e-commerce vendors when customers opt for cash-on-delivery.
“And banks are not interested in doing anything to change the status quo -- it is only our duty.”
Ashraf went on to thank the mobile financial service providers for extending offers to customers for making payments through their platform.
“Banks are more interested in spending on traditional businesses rather than looking into the future,” said AKM Fahim Mashroor, founder of ajkerdeal.com, one of the leading e-commerce sites in the country. The central bank echoed the same as Mashroor about the banks' outdated way of thinking.
“Most banks are not willing to adopt modern technologies and products,” said Lila Rashid, general manager of the Bangladesh Bank's payment systems department. It will take a few years to change the scenario of digital payments in Bangladesh, she said.
“We offered interoperability on internet banking last November with six banks and three have not made any transaction over the last couple of months,” said Rashid. She also asked banks to place proposals before the central bank if needed and they will seriously consider it for the sake of the country's digitisation.
“It is very unfortunate that the total card number in Bangladesh is about one crore only and the number is not increasing,” said Syed Mohammad Kamal, country manager of Mastercard.
Of the total online transactions, 90 percent is happening through the MFS operators, said Ashish Chakraborty, chief operation officer of Software Shop Limited. SM Mainuddin Chowdhury, additional managing director of Southeast Bank, said there are huge issues in issuing a card. The average ticket size of e-commerce purchases is another issue, he said.
Of the country's total internet users, only 22 percent shop online and their average spending is Tk 7,600.
Currently, there are 2,500 websites and 7,000 Facebook pages that are running e-commerce ventures. Altogether, they receive about 20,000 orders in a day.
Earlier in another seminar titled 'How Bangladesh can build an effective digital ecosystem', speakers said there are about 1,000 start-ups in Bangladesh but they lack the ecosystem to thrive.
As many as 200 start-ups are entering the market everyday and they need proper mentoring and caring to get success for their business, according to Banglalink.