Joint initiative of government and private sector urged to build cashless Bangladesh

The government has set a target of 30 percent of all transactions in the country to be cashless or digital by 2025. However, various sectors, including businesses and trade, are still far behind this target. Bangladesh Association of Software & Information Services (BASIS) has organized a workshop titled on “Way Forward to Increase Cashless Payment for a Smart Bangladesh” held at BASIS Auditorium, Dhaka.

The workshop was attended by officials from the Payment Systems Department of Bangladesh Bank, top officials from the digital payment departments of various banks, representatives of international payment networks, representatives of retail and wholesale traders, and entrepreneurs from various fintechcompanies.

The speakers highlighted the following as challenges to cashless payment: Lack of smartphone and app usage, reluctance of small shopkeepers to accept digital payments, complexity of using bank apps, high transaction costs, technical complexity of Bangla QR, lack of awareness among customers.

This workshop has been organized by BASIS Standing Committee on Fintech and Digital Payment where Md. MezbaulHaque, Executive Director of Bangladesh Bank, was present as the Chief Guest, Md. Motasem Billah, Director of Payment Systems Department, was present as the Guest of Honor and Shah Ziaul Hoque, Additional Director, Payment Systems Department, presented the keynote at the workshop while Russell T. Ahmed, President of BASIS was also present at the workshop.


AKM Fahim Mashroor, Chairman, BASIS Standing Committee on Fintech and Digital Payment presided over the workshop and Syed Mohammad Kamal, Director of BASIS and Country Manager Mastercard, moderated the workshop.

Participants of the workshop made a number of recommendations to increase cashless payment. Those are: It is important to give incentives to both customers and small shopkeepers to increase digital payments. If necessary, additional charges may be imposed on cash transactions to reduce the use of cash. Banks and fintech companies need to come forward together to create public awareness to popularize cashless payment methods. Banks need to work not only in big cities but also at the upazila and village level. Each bank needs to launch a mobile app for its customers to popularize Bangla QR (Bangla QR) payment. Those who have apps need to make them much simpler and user-friendly to increase their use. It needs to be ensured that small shopkeepers can pay suppliers or wholesalers cashlessly using the digital payments they receive from customers. It needs to be ensured that digital money can be easily withdrawn as cash. Bangladesh Bank needs to ensure real-time payment and interoperability between different payment systems.

The chief guest, Md. Mezbaul Haque, Executive Director of Bangladesh Bank, requested banks and fintech companies to help achieving the government’s target of expanding cashless Bangladesh. In this case, he assured Bangladesh Bank of all kinds of policy support. On behalf of BASIS, BASIS President Russell T. Ahmed pledged the support of all BASIS members to the government and Bangladesh Bank in all their initiatives to promote cashless payment.

press release

Dhaka, March 23,2024