EBL to offer Bangla QR payments

Eastern Bank Ltd will introduce an interoperable quick response (QR) payment system using mVisa platform in August in order to expedite the growth of cashless transactions in the country.

The lender is the first bank in Bangladesh that will launch the contactless payment method by way of using the platform of Visa, one of the global leaders in digital payments technology.

Paying for goods will no longer need point of sale (POS) terminals at shops or other places.

Clients will have to just use mobile banking apps linked to their debit and credit cards to scan QR codes displayed by merchants.

Bangla QR payments will allow interoperability and more convenience to customers for making contactless payments using their smartphone devices regardless of the transaction size, said Ali Reza Iftekhar, managing director of Eastern Bank.

Customers will be able to pay at any mVisa enabled QR merchant across the world, which will set a milestone in the payment industry of Bangladesh, he said.

The transaction method will encourage people to maintain social distancing, which will also help curb the coronavirus pandemic.    

Bangladesh Bank has recently drawn up relevant guidelines for the payment system, terming it Bangla QR.

All lenders including Eastern Bank will have to follow the application while introducing the payment method.

A few lenders and a mobile financial service have already introduced the QR payment system in the country but Eastern Bank's effort will give a boost to the financial sector to popularise the digital transaction mode, said another official of the lender.

He explained that nearly 80 per cent of the debit and credit cards issued by banks were now based on the Visa network.

Banks issued 1.93 crore debit cards and 15.99 lakh credit cards as of April this year. 

Eastern Bank, one of the top credit card issuer banks in the country, will start the payment system initially by adding 2,000-3,000 merchants to its QR payment system.

The lender has so far issued a total of 5 lakh cards, including 1.60 lakh credit cards.

Clients will make payments at places ranging from outlets of different brands to grocery shops.  

Clients will have to use EBL SKYBANKING, the financial application of Eastern Bank, to settle transactions through the QR payment method.

Any bank can easily launch the service by way of completing the QR issuing certification.