Govt to launch unified digital payment system
Published On: 22 Jan 2021, 1:11 pm

The government will launch a digital transaction platform with unified payment interface to support interoperable services among all accounts of traditional banks and mobile financial services (MFS).

The platform will enable cross-platform transactions irrespective of banks or mobile financial services as well as making any bill payment.

The ICT Division is now piloting the system titled Interoperable Digital Transaction Platform (IDTP) covering 57 banks, 15 mobile financial services (MFS) providers and other digital payment services, an official involved in the development said.

“We are testing the system now. It takes time to complete such projects. An MFS provider and a digital wallet application completed the testing. Some 10 banks are expected to complete the piloting by 30th this month (January). The system will help make real-time transaction irrespective of banks and MSF accounts,” Syed Mojibul Huq, additional secretary at ICT Division told the Daily Sun.

ICT Division is developing the IDTP system under innovation design and entrepreneurship academy (iDEA) project and the platform will be handed over to Bangladesh Bank after completing the piloting the system, according to the official.

As a universal payment interface of the country, the IDTP platform will create a bridge of transactions between banks, mobile financial services with unique application programming interface for transaction and bill payments.

Regarding the interoperable payment system, Nagad Managing Director Tanvir A Mishuk said the interoperability is a facility that will empower customers with the freedom of using mobile financial service and for the last couple of years; we are seeking this facility from the regulator.

“Without ensuring proper interoperability facilities the market will not flourish at its maximum level.

But here our point is that the interoperability needs to be ensured free at least for the next three to four years, otherwise it will encore additional costs to the customer and the market will be more imbalanced for that,” Mishuk told the Daily Sun.

Retired Major General Sheikh Md Monirul Islam, chief external and corporate affairs officer at bKash, said the company has been closely associated with Bangladesh Bank’s initiative of launching interoperability from the very beginning.

“We are working to ensure the technological readiness by taking necessary preparations as per Bangladesh Bank guidelines. We hope to complete all requirements/arrangements within the stipulated time,” Monirul told the Daily Sun.

Earlier, ICT Division introduced a platform EkPay under Aspire to Innovate (A2i) programme to facilitate utility bill payment connecting 3 MFS providers, 2 digital wallets and 7 banks.

In the last ten years, the area of digital financial services has been widening in collaboration of internet banking of traditional financial institutes.

At present, over 15 banks allow customers to sent money to MFS account while the user can add money to MFS account from bank account using the mobile application.