Online payment system PayPal will launch operations in Bangladesh on Oct 19, ending a long wait of the country’s freelancers and ICT entrepreneurs.
Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy will inaugurate the PayPal services at a ceremony at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on that day, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak has said.
Initially, the services will be available through nine banks, including state-owned Sonali and Rupali, and Social Islami Bank, Palak told bdnews24.com on Monday. More banks will offer the service later on.
“The PayPal authorities have been reviewing the market for some days. They decided to launch fully fledged services after exploring the possibilities,” Palak said.
“This will benefit Bangladesh’s freelancers. Digital transactions will be smooth and remittance inflow will rise,” the state minister remarked.
He said online payment services are ‘very important’ for establishing a ‘Digital Bangladesh’ as pledged by the government.
“We are advancing towards a cashless society through such initiatives.”
State Minister Palak said the launch of the PayPal services will also play a significant role in achieving Bangladesh’s target to earn $5 billion annually through the ICT sector by 2021.
After a programme on Monday, he told the media that it would take 40 minutes to transfer any expatriate Bangladeshi’s money to his or her account through the thousands of branches of Sonali Bank once the PayPal services are launched.
“The hundreds of thousands of freelancers in Bangladesh will be able to make transactions with their clients directly,” he said.
A team of the online money transfer agency will visit Bangladesh in November to further explore the possibilities of their services, he said.
“Inbound gateway will be used to bring the money of our boys and girls who are working abroad…We are also talking about sending money abroad. It will be useful for some freelancers. Now we can pay up to $10,000 individually and $30,000 as a company through ERP (enterprise resource planning) accounts,” he said.
The state minister said the government’s discussions with the PayPal authorities were ongoing.
The government will welcome any financial product if PayPal brought some, Palak said, adding that many types of financial systems were being created outside transactions.
PayPal is an e-commerce organisation through which money can be transferred on the internet using an electronic bank credit or debit card, PayPal cheques or by using virtual cash from Pay Pal accounts.
The government has been trying to introduce the service in Bangladesh since 2011.
Currently, Payza, Skrill and Payoneer are providing similar services in Bangladesh.