Internet banking both in terms of number and volume of transactions went up substantially during September-November period of 2020, thanks to the government's plan to build Digital Bangladesh.
According to Bangladesh Bank's (BB) latest statistics, the internet banking customers were 3,014,419 in September, 2020, up by over 727,261 from the same month of 2019. In October, 2020, the number of customers was 3,088,254, up by 738,043 from the same month of 2019. The number of customers in November 2020 was 3,153,948, up by 747,886 from the same month of 2019.
The number of e-commerce customers and volume of transactions also recorded a significant rise during the period.
All transactions through Mobile Financial Services (MFS) stood at 273,008,126 in September, 290,180,430 in October and 281,307,626 in November, 2020.
The volume of transactions was Tk 49,121.2 crore in September, Tk 53,258.8 crore in October and Tk 53,598.3 crore in November, 2020. It was Tk 35,433 crore in September, Tk 37,688.2 crore in October and Tk 378, 26.9 crore in November, 2019, the BB statistics showed.
The main components of the MFS that witnessed a spike were talk-time purchase, utility bills payment and salary disbursement.
In November, 2020, people purchased talk-time worth Tk 582.6 crore against Tk 409.9 crore in November, 2019.
Utility bills payment through the MFS was Tk 831.4 crore in November, 2020 against Tk 465.5 crore in November last year.
On the other hand, banks issued a total of 20,969,416 debit cards and 1,651,518 credit cards in November, 2020 against 17,961,101 debit cards and 1,520,501 credit cards in November, 2019.
According to the latest statistics, the volume of fund transaction through debit cards in November, 2020 was Tk 173,32.6 crore against Tk 13,713.2 crore in November last year. It was Tk 165,29.2 crore in October and Tk 15,211.1 crore in September, 2020 against Tk 14,171.8 crore in October and Tk 13,273 crore in September, 2019.
The volume of fund transaction through credit cards in November, 2020 was Tk 1,434.1 crore against Tk 1,195.5 crore in November last year. It was Tk 1,381.2 crore in October and Tk 1,220.2 crore in September, 2020 against Tk 1,189.8 crore in October and Tk 1,006.4 crore in September, 2019.
"There was an uptrend in internet banking and e-commerce amid the Covid-19 pandemic. As the central bank always encourages such banking transaction, we are providing all-out cooperation to banks to encourage their customers to internet banking and e-commerce," said BB's chief spokesperson Md. Sirajul Islam.
He expressed the hope that such uptrend in internet banking and e-commerce would continue in future.
Shamsuddin Haider Dalim, head of corporate communication at the bKash, said' "It was Covid-19 situation that has forced people to go through the digital platforms because people were reluctant to go out due to outbreak of coronavirous."
He said that the upward trend would increase further in the days to come.
Talking to the Bangladesh Post, Bank Asia Managing Director Md Arfan Ali said," Internet banking is becoming popular among the people as the banks encourage its customers to make transaction through such channel."
It is easy and convenient to use, he added.