April 16, 2024, 11:12 pm

Mousumi Islam

2023-12-31 18:00:17 BdST

BB mulls imposing charges on Bangla QR transactions

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) instructed all banks and financial institutions to introduce Bangla QR Code in January this year to reduce the use of cash in transactions or purchases as part of building a “Digital Bangladesh”.

The central bank has lifted the limit on transactions done with Bangla QR (Quick Response) codes, for which the users are not currently charged any fee, but recently it observed that many people are using the system to withdraw cash from their accounts.

In this situation, the Bangladesh Bank is thinking of imposing a charge on Bangla QR code transactions.

Bangladesh Bank Executive Director and Spokesperson Mezbaul Haque said that, “The central bank launched the service considering the benefits of cashless transactions for customers. But now we know that some of it is being misused.

“As a result, we are now reviewing the market situation and thinking of imposing a certain amount of charge on transactions through Bangla QR code.”

Asked about the possible amount to be charged, he said it depends on the market and the central bank has started working in this regard.

According to the central bank, Tk7.75 crore was transacted in 22,879 transactions with Bangla QR code on 14 December, while Tk13.72 crore was transacted in 38,044 transactions through different bank cards using the POS (point of sale) machines.

Cards and MFS are popular in the country for cashless transactions, but a “point of sale” or POS machine is required for this service, which only big shopping malls and super shops can afford.

To include the marginal and small traders in digital transactions, the authorities launched the Bangla QR code.

It is a contactless payment method where a shop has a particular QR code, which the customer can scan to transfer money to the shop owner’s account.

This correspondent found that in the Motijheel area of the capital, many people were using the QR codes to withdraw money from general shops, avoiding any transaction limit they face in transactions through cards and mobile financial services (MFS).

Besides, they did not have to pay any fee for withdrawing money with QR codes, like they have to do for transactions in bKash, Rocket and Nagad. Customers just paid shopkeepers a small amount. Currently, bKash charges Tk18.50 per thousand cash out, and Tk12.50 per thousand for cash in.

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