bKash app launched

bKash, the country's leading mobile financial service provider, has rolled out a mobile app to make transactions through the platform more simple and cost-effective.

Through the app, bKash's 3 crore users can send money, buy airtime, withdraw cash, make payment. Remittance service will be added in future. 

The MFS provider is offering discounts temporarily to popularise the app, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, said Kamal Quadir, chief executive officer of bKash.

To make withdrawals using the app, the fee will be Tk 15 for Tk 1,000. The fee is Tk 18.50 when using the USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) channel.

Moreover, person-to-person transaction through the bKash app is free. The charge is Tk 5 per transaction when using the USSD channel.

The use of the mobile app will make transactions cheaper as bKash will not have to share 7 percent of its revenue with the mobile operators for using their service.

Since May 8, the app has been downloaded 14 lakh times, according to bKash.

The development can also be viewed as a solution to the longstanding tussle between the mobile operators and the MFS providers over revenue sharing.

The MFS providers use the mobile operator's USSD feature -- through which bKash customers take banking services from one's basic feature phone without the need for internet connection -- to relay their service.

In return, the MFS providers share 7 percent of their earnings with the mobile operators, much to the dissatisfaction of the latter, who complain of a lack of clarity in the model.

The mobile operators are not informed how much the MFS providers earn; they are only forwarded a certain amount from time to time. bKash's net profit surged 26 percent to Tk 48.80 crore in 2017.

Established in 2011, bKash has been turning in losses until 2013, after which it has been a profit-making company.


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