Clients of mobile financial services (MFS) have to pay Tk 0.40 to their respective mobile operators every time they check their balance from their cellphones, according to a directive of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) issued today.
As per the new directive, mobile operators will get Tk 0.85 for each transaction.
It is yet to be known whether the MFS operators will bear the costs themselves or the costs will be imposed on their clients.
However, the costs will not come under the purview of those clients who will check their balance through the mobile applications of the MFS providers.
Every transaction, checking balance or statement will be counted as a session and the duration of such session will be 90 seconds. For each session, comprising of two text messages, the telecom operators will have to be given TK 0.85, according to the BTRC directive.
The MFS providers use the network of the telecom operators to extend financial services and they (MFS providers) will be charged for that reason. Eventually, the MFS providers might shift the cost upon their clients.
Previously, checking balance was free of cost.
Reflecting on the issue, Shamsuddin Haider Dalim, head of corporate communications at bKash, told The Daily Star that they were yet to receive any formal directive in this regard.
He said they were negotiating the issue with different telcos and the final decision will be taken afterwards.
“We welcome the comprehensive combined directive on Mobile Financial Service (MFS). Our long-standing demand for the introduction of session-based charging has finally been incorporated after the four-year-long discussion and with the consent of Bangladesh Bank, BTRC, MNOs and MFS operators,” said Shahed Alam, chief corporate and regulatory officer, Robi Axiata Ltd.
Customers do not have any reason to worry about any additional charge due to this directive since such charges are going to be paid by the MFS service providers to the mobile operators, he added.