Electronic money

Electronic money to usher in a fully digital economy

Official of Mahindra Comviva says Bangladesh is an important market for mobile financial services.

Digital or paperless money has the potential to change the whole ecosystem of the economy and help Bangladesh become a full hedged digital country, said au official of Mahindra Comviva, a global leader in mobile finance data and content.

This interview was originally published in The Daily Star

July 26, 2015:

“Paperless money can get beyond the reach of regular banking,” Suresh Khosla, vice president for sales (Asia Pacifc) of the company. said in an interview with The Daily Star.

The lndia-based company provides various solutions such as financial and value-added services to more than 130 mobile operators and financial institutions in around 90 countries, and affects over a billion people around the globe.

The company also considers Bangladesh a very prospective market for mobile financial services with proper guidelines and regulations.

Mahindra Comviva is already working with some banks and financial institutions involved in mobile financial services in Bangladesh.

The current regulations (or the mobile financial market arc smart enough when compared to those of African and South-east Asian countries, Khosla said.

“Currently the concept ‘mobile wallet’ is gaining popularity in the subcontinent as it saves the state costs associated with printing money, is resistant to counterfeiting, precludes any mistakes in counting reduces security costs. and Is environment friendly,” he added.

However, along with regulations there is also a need for better awareness lo help common people understand the benefits of the digital process, Khosla said.

In Bangladesh the average monthly mobile transaction is worth around Tk 420 crore as of May.

Mahindra Comviva has launched digital money in Tanzania and is working to introduce similar services in Myanmar, Singapore and Malaysia soon.

“We have the solution readily available for Bangladesh, which should be a super hit with the consumers, and that is why we are talking with the mobile operators, banks and the regulators,” Khosla added.

Mahindra Comviva is a subsidiary of Tech Mahindra under the Mahindra Group and began operations in Bangladesh in 2006 with the eIectronic recharge software

Currently mobile users top up around Tk 60 crore in credit every day using Mahindra Comviva’ s software, which is more than 90 percent of the total daily recharge.

Before the Launch of the electronic recharge system by Comviva, all local top, ups were voucher based, and the Service at the time was revolutionary, said Rayad Hasnain. country manager of Mahindra Cornviva who was also present during the interview at the Westin Dhaka.

The company has grown manifold over the last few years in the top-up segment in Bangladesh and is now planning to diversify its focus into other areas, like data and value added services. Khosla said.

The market for data services has huge potential in Bangladesh, but unfortunately there is no major local company in the sector, which has let foreign companies to grab most of it, the Comv va officials said.

“A few local companies focused on value added service., and content arr doing welt, but if Bangladeshi companies want to tap the potential of data business, now is the time to start working on it.” Khosla said.

He said Mahindra Comviva has added innovative mobility solution to its portfolio over the years that enable operators to differentiate their brands, create arid sustain new revenue streams, and drive average revenue per user.

“With our growing footprint in Bangladesh, we will continue to help regional operators and financial institutions achieve bottom line benefits, with solutions that drive operational efficiencies and optimise existing investment.
he said.

This interview was originally published in The Daily Star