Top 10 Leading Fintech Companies in Bangladesh
Fintech in Bangladesh has totally changed the financial landscape. There have been several growing fintech companies in Bangladesh over the years. Since the pandemic has inspired people into cashless transactions, fintech companies in Bangladesh have welcomed this opportunity to make a meaningful and noteworthy impact in Bangladesh.
Before 2010, Bangladesh’s fintech landscape mostly consisted of debit and credit cards, ATMs, point-of-sale terminals, and to a lesser degree, the banks’ online banking services. Dutch Bangla Bank was the first to provide Internet banking in Bangladesh in 2003, according to a study by Mr. Salekul Islam that was published in Research Gate.
Despite this, citizens had only a limited amount of access to banking services. Bangladesh’s financial inclusion rate in 2011 was only 32%, according to the Global Findex Database of the World Bank. When Bangladesh Bank initially launched the Bangladesh Electronic Funds Transfer Network (BEFTN) in 2011 to increase the flexibility of electronic payment methods and mobile financial services, the fintech landscape in Bangladesh started to alter.
The National Payment Switch Bangladesh (NPSB) was then implemented in 2012 to improve bank interoperability. In 2013, agent banking was launched as a continuation of MFS. Bangladesh Bank and A2i worked together to establish the Digital Financial Services (DFS) Lab in the nation for the development of the fintech ecosystem.
Using mobile technology, the use of fintech is steadily growing in Bangladesh. The latest Global Findex Database indicates that Bangladesh’s financial inclusion rate reached 50% in 2017. Gomedici estimates that Bangladesh’s financial technology processes about $4 billion worth of transactions each month. As of September 2021, there were 118 fintech companies in Bangladesh, according to Tracxn.
In Bangladesh, there are 167 FinTech startups. The top ten most thrilling ones are listed below.
The spectacularly successful bKash is the major player in the field of MFS in Bangladesh. Backed up by Brac Bank, bKash started their MFS program in 2011. By 2019 it had 3.1 crores, active users. With some 180,000 agents countrywide effectively acting as bank branches to facilitate their user base, bKash is holding above 80 percent share of the total MFS market in Bangladesh. Up to July 2019, more than TK 37,477.35 crore has been transacted through bKash MFS.
They offer MFS cash-in, cash-out, bill payments, mobile recharge, remittance, donation, purchasing movie tickets, saving, etc. These can be availed through the prominent telecommunication networks in Bangladesh.
Mobile financial services and payment systems for consumers. It features a solution for money transfer, mobile recharges, utility bill payments, and others. Users can dial a number to initiate the transaction, fill in the Rocket account, amount and the money will be sent to the receivers’ mobile. The beneficiary can cash out at the participating agent locations or at partnered locations and at ATMs.
In 2012, Dutch Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) became the first bank to offer banking and financial services using a mobile phone network. Bank-led mobile banking services were offered by DBBL and promoted as “Rocket.” With a market share of around 17% in Bangladesh’s mobile banking industry, Rocket from DBBL is now the second-largest participant.
Cash deposit, cash withdrawal, ATM money withdrawal, mobile top-up, person-to-person (P2P) transfers, bank account to Rocket account transfers, merchant payments, international remittance, utility bill payment, salary disbursement, government allowance disbursement, etc. are just a few of the services offered by Rocket. Customers may simply use the “Rocket” app to access the mobile banking services offered by DBBL.
Business banking solution over the internet. For offering financial services, it provides an app-based wallet. Savings accounts, money transfers, bill payments, online and offline payments, cell phone recharges, and DTH recharges are just a few of the services it provides. Payments can be made by users using credit or debit cards. Devices running iOS and Android can access the app.
In November 2018, Bangladesh Post Office (BPO) introduced “Nagad,” a Digital Financial Service (DFS). The Electronic Money Transfer System (EMTS) and PostalCash Card service that BPO earlier announced have been combined into one product called Nagad.
Cash-In, Cash-Out, and Send Money transactions are all covered by the Nagad MFS platform. Additionally, these MFS offer well-known services like cell phone recharging. Utility bill payment and an e-commerce payment gateway are among the future features. The ‘Nagad’ mobile apps are able to access Nagad MFS.
SureCash is a prepaid reloadable mobile wallet that allows users to pay utility bills, education payments, online payments, and money transfer. User needs to visit an agent location to top-up the wallet and can withdraw the balance as well. SureCash is working with 6 local banks, 5 microfinance institutes, around 300 payment partners, and more than 35,000 retail agents to provide banking and payment services to more than 700,000 end customers. SureCash is a product offered by Progoti Systems Ltd.
Another perspective MFS platform, SureCash, was introduced by Progoti Systems Ltd. in 2015. With over 1,000 payment partners, SureCash provides an open payment integration network with various local banks. SureCash created its own method with an emphasis on government education initiatives, educational institutions, utilities, etc.
SureCash MFS provides a variety of financial services, including cash-in and/or cash-out money transfers, person-to-person (P2P) financial transactions, inward foreign remittances, utility bill payments, government fees and charges, educational institute fees, the purchase of goods and services, and more. By installing the SureCash app from the Play Store, customers may use the SureCash MFS platform.
Trust Axiata Digital Limited
Trust Axiata Digital Limited is a mobile financial services company founded on May 29, 2020. It was established under the joint venture between “Trust Bank Limited, Bangladesh” and “Axiata Digital Services Sdn Bhd, Malaysia” who own 51% and 49% respectively.
A private commercial bank called Trust Bank Limited was founded in Bangladesh in 1999. Army Welfare Trust of Bangladesh Army is in support of it. Its chairman is Bangladesh Army Chief General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed. One of the top private commercial banks in Bangladesh, it currently operates a network of 114 branches, 7 SME Service Centers, 244 ATM Booths, and 140 POS. In 2013, it plans to open a few more branches to better serve the country’s major commercial hubs in Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, and other cities. It aims to revolutionize the way customers transact in today’s increasingly digital and mobile world by offering high-end Digital Lifestyle Services.
Upay is a Mobile Financial Service brand aiming at helping aspirers achieve their goals through easy, secured and innovative digital financial solutions was founded to become a companion that makes customer journey simple, secured and convenient, while availing financial services.
Upay is the digital financial service brand of UCB Fintech Company Limited, a subsidiary of United Commercial Bank. Upon receiving a license from Bangladesh Bank, Upay started its journey in early 2021, offering a wide range of mobile financial services to people from all walks of life.
Our products and services include mobile transactions, utility bill payments, in-store and e-commerce payments, inward remittance, salary disbursement, airtime recharge and many other value-added financial services. Customers can avail the services from our nationwide agent and merchant network at an affordable charge.
Driven by the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ vision, Upay strives to actively contribute to transforming the financial landscape of the country. Upay offers easy access to seamless digital financial solutions touching the lives of millions of people, and thus play a vital role in financial inclusion in Bangladesh.
Embracing empathy as a core pillar of our value system, aims to usher in a new era in the digital financial service industry by keeping the customer’s needs at the front and center of everything we do. No matter what challenges our customers face, as a constant companion, we are determined to be their reliable problem solver, offering a delightful customer experience, complete security and meaningful innovations.
Online crowdfunding platform for farming communities. It enables an individual to invest in farming and livestock enterprises. The platform connects farmers, landowners, sponsors, and crop buyers and creates a farming supply chain and allows sponsors to fund projects for a social cause or share the profits from farming businesses.
iFarmer runs an internet platform that makes it possible for people and organizations to safely fund farming. While iFarmer connects farmers with wholesale/retail buyers directly through a lean and linked supply chain and provides farmers with consulting services, smart technology, and training.
Additionally, iFarmer enables service providers like insurance, input, and logistics firms to provide their services, improving the efficiency and profitability of the agriculture financing and supply chain for all parties involved, including the farmers.
The United Commercial Bank Limited offers UCash as a full-service mobile financial product (UCBL). With the goal of providing financial services to the bulk of the country’s unbanked people, UCash commenced its services in Bangladesh.
A full-service mobile financial app, Ucash is provided by United Commercial Bank Limited (UCBL). Bangladesh Bank granted UCBL license to run and provide Mobile Financial Services (MFS). The brand name for the mobile financial services that UCBL provides is UCash.
The UCBL firmly believes that all people should have access to banking services and the concept of “financial inclusion.” In order to offer financial services to the large majority of the country’s unbanked people, UCash has started its services throughout Bangladesh.
With the help of UCash, those who previously couldn’t use financial services will become more familiar with banking facilities. UCash will serve as a stimulus for the unbanked population’s economic growth by offering swift, quick, and secure banking goods and services.
Customers can pay their bills online with PayWell. It offers solutions for cellphone recharge, utility bills (electricity, water, gas), travel expenses, DTH and internet costs, as well as e-commerce. The POS terminal, an Android app, and a web portal may all be used to access its services.
PayWell is a retail platform that CloudWell Digital Services Limited has established to make it easy and effective to pay bills for many services at one location.
For the millennial immigrants, women, and teenagers who are frequently neglected and unserved, Muthopay is developing a payment stack for South and South East Asia with an eye on Africa. Based in Dhaka, Muthopay is a pre-revenue startup that has burned $50,000 in cash and credit, a small customer base, and 30,000 registered offline merchant points throughout Bangladesh. Muthopay has three licenses from the Regulatory Authority of Bangladesh (PSP = Wallet, PSO = Gateway, NBFI = Loan) to provide a mobile wallet, a payment gateway, remittance, individual & merchant credits, and a marketplace.
Bangladesh is the company’s present market, while India will be its next market in line.
The financial industry in Bangladesh needs to incorporate fintech. To encourage greater Fintech disruption and adaptation, we should take advantage of our younger population, a rising number of mobile subscribers, and millions of internet users. Financial institutions and the government must emphasize Fintech moving ahead if they want to achieve sustainable development.
Written By: Md Rashid Munasib Islam