bKash in Bangladesh: A Mobile Money Application for the Unbanked
In my previous post, I touched upon how mobile money is helping improve financial inclusion in different parts of the world, more so in East Africa and South Asia. Here, I wish to talk about bKash, a mobile money application that’s transforming access to financial services in Bangladesh. According to published data, bKash touches 22% of adult population in Bangladesh. Launched in 2011, bKash, a subsidiary of BRAC Bank in Bangladesh (BRAC owns 51% stake) can be accessed through basis handsets. bKash adopted a robust electronic payment platform from VISA which ensured best-in-class data processing and security standards.
Data reveals that approximately 90% of Bangladeshis had no banking experience at the time when bKash was launched. The popularity of bKash can be gauged from the fact that it processes more than 5 million transactions a day, the daily value of which turns out to around $84 million. In the words of Kamal Quadir, CEO of bKash, “we are having a Facebook experience sitting here in Bangladesh.”