Cashless payments pick up in Eid shopping –

People buy new clothes ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the biggest religious festivals of the Muslims, at a shop in the capital Dhaka on Tuesday. — New Age photo

Cashless payments in Eid shopping have become popular among shoppers as the country’s mobile financial service operators as well as banks are offering discounts and cashback deals on the digital payment method.

Sellers also prefer cashless payments as the system is promoting their brands and giving them advantage to collect payments smoothly during this busy time of Eid rush.

Popular brand BRAC-Aarong’s chief operating officer Mohammad Ashraful Alam said that Aarong had started receiving digital payments years before and now received card-based payments of all banks and mobile banking services in payment.

‘Since the start of the pandemic, we have been encouraging our customers to pay cashless,’ he said.

During this Eid, 16 banks have become affiliated with Aarong and offered cashback deals for their cardholders from 10 to 30 per cent, he said.

Eastern Bank, HSBC, Meghna Bank, City Bank, Dhaka Bank, AB Bank, Prime Bank, United Commercial Bank, Community Bank, Islami Bank Bangladesh and Shimanto Bank are among the banks while MFS operators bKash and Nagad are also among much used entities in payment.

Ashraful said that Aarong usually received 43 per cent digital payments, which had become 50 per cent since the beginning of Ramadan due to Eid shopping.

‘Definitely digital payments are better for us as well as for the customers,’ he said.

Fashion Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh president Shaheen Ahmed, also the chief executive officer of fashion house Anjans, said that cashless payments were increasing for fashion items in shops.

Anjans is now getting 50 per cent of its sales payments cashless as bank cards and mobile banking get popular, he said.

‘We encourage the digital payment because it saves our time in many ways,’ he said.

Not only the brand shops, roadside shops at Mirpur, Dhanmondi and Elephant Road and the other parts of the Dhaka city are receiving cards during payments against sales.

Tanvir Hasan, a Dhaka College student, said that he had started paying cashless since he began shopping online.

He said that cashless payment was one kind of smartness for him while different cash-back offers also inspired him a lot to opt for the method.

He said that still he preferred online shopping and digital payments even in Eid shopping to avoid traffic-jams and excessive rush.

Dhaka Bank managing director and chief operating officer Emranul Huq told New Age that Dhaka Bank was not giving discounts only on fashion items.

‘We have discounts on food, hotel and travel services,’ he said.

Mobile financing service Nagad’s chief executive officer Rahel Ahmed said that in the Eid campaign, they had about 5,000 merchants, which made its merchant base nearly 25,000, including online merchants.

He said that Nagad was offering 5 to 50 per cent cashback to its users in digital payment.

‘We are getting good response from our customers,’ he said.

bKash corporate communication head Shamsuddin Haider Dalim said that on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the biggest religious festivals of the Muslims, bKash had brought cashback offers like the previous years to make the customers’ shopping more affordable.

Customers can avail 5 to 20 per cent instant cashback on bKash payments at about 10,000 outlets of different lifestyle brands, retail shops, superstores, restaurants, online marketplaces and f-commerce shops.

They can enjoy the offers through bKash app, USSD *247# and payment gateway till May 3, 2022, he said.

‘A customer can get maximum Tk 200 in cashback in a single day and Tk 300 during the whole campaign period under one offer and under another offer, a customer can get Tk 400 in a single day and Tk 600 during the whole campaign period,’ he said.

Emranul said that MasterCard and Visa Card also shared the discount liabilities with the bank.

Harun-Or-Rashid, an executive of a private company, shopped from shops in the capital’s Mirpur with his family members.

Harun said that he wanted to make payments at a shop by using an MFS which offered 10 per cent discount on payment, but the shopkeeper informed him that he might get the highest Tk 200 discount in a single day on his overall shopping.

He said that banks and MFS operators set the maximum cashback margin at a very low amount, which discouraged many shoppers.

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