‘Digital’ transaction facility at Motijheel cobblestone shop

Babul Chandra Ghosh sells tea in front of Bangladesh Bank in Motijheel of the capital. In addition to cash, he is now doing digital or cashless transactions. For this he has been given a Bangla QR code against a personal retail account. A copy of this QR code is hanging in his shop. If a customer wants, they can pay the price of tea at Babul’s tea shop through bank app or mobile banking app like Bikash instead of cash. This service has been officially launched since yesterday Wednesday.

Babul Chandra Ghosh said, “A QR code was given to me a few days ago. I recently saw that many other small traders in the vicinity have been given this facility. Every day some customers in my shop are paying with QR code instead of cash. A small message on the mobile means that the money has arrived. But I don’t withdraw this money day by day. Deposit as savings as a bank. If there is a big problem, then take this money and use it. So starting the service is saving me some money every month.’

Bangladesh Bank has brought more than 1 thousand 200 small traders of Motijheel like Babul Ghosh under Bangla QR code based ‘scan to pay’ service. 10 private banks, 3 mobile banking service providers (MFS) and 3 international card service providers have joined Bangladesh Bank in this initiative. The central bank has said that the small traders of different areas of the big cities of the country will also be brought under such transactions.

Bangla Quick Response (QR) is an interoperable code-based digital transaction service designed by Bangladesh Bank. Through which bill can be paid easily from bank or MFS app. The central bank says that as a result of the introduction of this new type of service, Bangladesh will take another step towards becoming a ‘less cash society’. The small traders of the country will also be included in the digital financial structure.

Yesterday, Wednesday, Bangladesh Bank formally inaugurated this initiative with the theme of ‘Cashless Bangladesh, Smart Bangladesh’. Under this service, 1 thousand 200 small traders of Motijheel are getting the opportunity to transact money using this QR code. People involved in this initiative said that this service has been launched with the aim of gradually making Motijheel free of cash transactions.

A tour of the bankparas of Motijheel area shows that from cobblers to tea sellers and even floating shopkeepers have availed this QR code facility against personal retail accounts. They have already started using this code. However, even if the small traders are ready, if the buyers do not come forward to use this service, the service will not be perfect.

Shefali Das polishes and sews shoes while sitting on the footpath in front of Sena Kalyan Bhawan in Motijheel. Although he himself did not understand the matter very well, he launched the QR code based service. Till four o’clock yesterday afternoon he has accepted money from only one customer in QR code. He said that understanding the language of the small message of this transaction of 30 rupees is also a challenge for him.

When asked, Shefali Das told Prothom Alo, “Many times there is no spare money. If I take the service for 500 rupees, it becomes difficult for me to keep the money. The introduction of this new service will reduce the complexity to some extent. But not many customers used this service on the first day. Most of them transacted in cash.

Dutch-Bangla Bank, Mutual Trust, AB, Eastern, Islami, United Commercial, The City, Bank Asia, Pubali and One Bank have joined this initiative based on Bangla QR code. Apart from this, MFS companies Bikash, MKash, Rocket and card service providers MasterCard, Visa and Amex have joined the service.