Come early 2018, and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh would boast of a highly advanced and upgraded mobile digital payment network in place, covering even the rural areas.
Already top on the country’s digitization policy agenda, and a project of special interest with the PMO, the network upgrade would be established in partnership with the central bank, Bangladesh Bank, and will be synchronized with Bangladesh’s bKash, a system which enables users to purchase goods and services using the Short Message Service (SMS) facility on their mobile phones.
The blueprint for the infrastructure envisages the application of the system throughout a collection of 4500 computer centres across the country – thus, making available digital services to rural families, and also a facility that acts as the ‘last-mile-service delivery’ of such services.
The project will be integrated with the services of the private sector IT/ITeS telecom companies, who will provide mobile financial services inter-linked to 1200 of these 4500 centres.
The ambitious project, taken up on an accelerated implementation schedule, has been named, ‘Digital Financial Services Lab’, and is a joint initiative between a2i and the Bangladesh Bank.