Nagad to make MFS account-opening faster for Grameenphone users
Bangladesh's mobile financial service is set to take a major leap forward in the coming months after Nagad has introduced a quick account-opening process for mobile phone subscribers.
Subscribers of Robi-Airtel and Teletalk can already open Nagad account in two steps by simply dialling *167# and setting up the PIN (personal identification number) and this takes only a few seconds.
With this, potential users don't need to visit agents with the national identification number and photographs to open an MFS account as mobile phone operators already have their users registered with their NID and biometric authentication. Nagad uses the same customer data to open the accounts.
The opening of account through the short-code is even easier than opening an account even on its app.
"It is super-easy," said Rifat Jahan, a homemaker who lives in the capital's Mirpur, after opening an account with Nagad.
The fast-growing mobile financial service provider is now running a trial with Grameenphone, Bangladesh's largest mobile phone operator, and hopes to roll out the simplest account-opening process within the next couple of weeks.
Once the system is up and running officially, it would give the country's majority of the 16-crore-strong mobile phone subscribers an opportunity to open an MFS account in a quick manner.
The total number of mobile phone subscribers reached 16.13 crore at the end of June this year, according to the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
Grameenphone, the market leader, has 7.45 crore subscribers, Robi Axiata 4.8 crore, Banglalink 3.4 crore and Teletalk 47 lakh.
Because of the tie-up with Grameenphone, Robi and Teletalk, Nagad would actually have a targeted group of customers of 12 crore who could be its users.
The second-largest MFS operator after bKash is also in talks with Banglalink to initiate the similar account-opening process with the country's third-largest mobile phone operator.
"Nagad's customer numbers climbed after its tie-up with Robi-Airtel and Teletalk and it would get a massive boost once the opportunity for Grameenphone subscribers is officially inaugurated," said Muhammad Zahidul Islam, a spokesperson for the MFS provider.
Earlier, on March 26, Nagad introduced digital KYC (know your customer) as the first financial service company in the country, in another step that speeds up the process of registering customers and ensure customers authentication.
On the back of the customer acquisition activities, Nagad's customers number crossed 2 crore in the first week of August.
Nagad is a joint venture between the Bangladesh Post Office and Third Wave Technologies. The postal department owns a 51 per cent stake.
Nagad's push for the market share came at a time when the segment is witnessing a phenomenal growth as an increasing number of people, businesses and government agencies are turning to the channel to avail digital services to keep the deadly coronavirus at bay.
Transactions through mobile financial services hit an all-time high of Tk 62,999 crore in July, Bangladesh Bank data showed.
The number of active accounts rose 27.46 per cent year-on-year to 4.27 crore in July. Registered clients total 9.26 crore.
In Bangladesh, there are 15 MFS operators providing mobile wallet service.
They are bKash of Brac Bank, Nagad of Bangladesh Postal Department, Rocket of Dutch-Bangla Bank, MYCash of Mercantile Bank, Islami Bank mCash, t-cash of Trust Bank, First Pay SureCash of First Security Islami Bank, U Cash of United Commercial Bank, OK Banking of One Bank, Rupali Bank SureCash, TeleCash of Southeast Bank, BCB SureCash of Bangladesh Commerce Bank, Jamuna Bank SureCash, Islamic Wallet of Al-Arafah Islami Bank, Spot Cash of Standard Bank and Meghna Bank Tap n Pay.