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Internet banking transactions rose more than 61 percent year-on-year to 27,426 transactions in Bangladesh in November as a growing number of people choose digital technology to conduct financial transactions, official figures showed.

That’s up from 17,009 in the same month last year, according to Bangladesh Bank data.

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Internet banking popularly known as online banking was introduced in Bangladesh two decades ago. But the pace has accelerated due to the coronavirus pandemic, as consumers have had to turn to the internet to access finances from the comfort of their homes to avoid the deadly virus.

Internet banking customers have almost tripled from March 2020 to 61.27 lakh in November last year.

In the third month of 2020, when the pandemic hit the world, the number of internet banking customers in Bangladesh was 26.49 lakh. It has increased by over 42 percent from 43.06 lakh in November last year.

Three years ago in March, transactions worth 6,588 trons were carried out through digital platforms.

In November, local banks processed transactions through the Bangladesh Electronic Funds Transfer Network (BEFTN) for Tk 40,457, up from Tk 38,178, up 6 percent year-on-year.

Established in 2011, BEFTN was the country’s first paperless electronic interbank funds transfer system. It facilitates both credit and debit transactions as a leading check clearing system.

The network can carry out credit transfers such as salary, foreign and domestic remittances, social security payments, company dividends, bill payments, corporate payments, state tax payments, social security payments and person-to-person payments.

It includes debit transactions such as utility bill payments, insurance premium payments, club or association payments and equivalent monthly installment payments. Most government salaries, social benefits, social safety net and other government payments are also processed through BEFTN.

461,218 truk transactions were carried out through the central bank’s real-time gross settlement (RTGS), which is an increase of more than 66 percent compared to last year’s 277,562 truk transactions.

To facilitate real-time payments of time-critical payments, BB introduced the RTGS system in 2015. It allowed banks and corporates to settle payments instantly. The service is also used by individual customers to settle large value transactions.

Amount of Tk 1 lakh and above is settled through RTGS system while BEFTN processes amount less than that.

Central bank data showed that non-bank financial institutions paid Tk 23.169 billion in funds through RTGS in November. It totaled 17,825 tricks in June, the latest data available on the central bank’s website.

For individuals, the maximum value of each transaction through internet banking is 3 lakhs. Frequency is maximum 10 times per day and not more than Tk 10 lakh per day.

For corporates, the limit has been set at Tk 5 lakh per transaction. The maximum frequency is 20 times, while a total of Tk 25 lakh could be transacted per day.


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