Less than 10 percent of the customers pay their utility bills online, but the government is targeting to raise the number to upwards of 50 percent within the next five years.
Although different utility service providers are now running their own channels to collect bills, to achieve the target Access to Information Programme (a2i) has developed a payment switch 'ekPay'.
The payment switch has already been connected with all the government utility billing systems.
a2i yesterday also signed a preliminary agreement yesterday with 11 financial institutions, including nine banks and two digital financial service providers, in a ceremony at the ICT division in Agargaon at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.
Utility bill payers can use all the credit and debit cards that are used in the country in the 'ekPay' as well as their mobile financial service accounts.
“This will make it helpful for citizens to pay their bills digitally,” said Md Mustafizur Rahman, project director of the organisation, adding that a2i is targeting to unveil the service by December.
The system will save citizens' time and money, said Zuena Aziz, secretary to the ICT Division, who was the chief guest at the ceremony.
“I say this is the real digitisation and in the coming days new service and innovations will also be enrolled,” Aziz added.
At present, more than Tk 6,000 crore is paid as utility bills in a month.
Md Arfan Ali, president and managing director of Bank Asia; Mohammed Shawkat Jamil, managing director of United Commercial Bank; Md Mehmood Husain, chief executive officer of NRB Bank; and top officials of City Bank, Southeast Bank, Brac Bank, Dutch-Bangla Bank, iPay and bKash, signed the agreements with a2i.