Information and Communication Technology ministry, as part of its earlier announcement, will inaugurate ‘PayPal service’ in the country today amid confusion whether the service will be actual.
Officials of the ICT division said PayPal, a global online payment system, would start its service in Bangladesh today, paving the way for hassle-free electronic money transfer and ensure increased access to foreign consumers as well as ease the collection of money for the IT freelancers of the country.
State minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak on October 9 had also told reporters that the service of PayPal, established in 1998 and now one of the world’s largest internet payment companies, would be inaugurated on the second day of the three-day ICT EXPO 2017 that started on Wednesday.
Following the minister’s announcement, confusion surfaced among the freelancers about what service of PayPal would be launched in the country as PayPal officials denied that it was going to launch its operations in Bangladesh.
Besides, the operation of Xoom payment service, which was bought by PayPal in 2015, has been in operation in Bangladesh since 2015.
Freelancers have been waiting for last few years for the launch of actual PayPal service with inbound, outbound remittance and wallet services as the government has time and again claimed that PayPal would introduce its services in Bangladesh.
As Palak came to severe criticism over the announcement of PayPal launch, he on Wednesday in a Facebook post said that the Xoom service would be launched with the facility of inbound service of PayPal.
‘Initially, PayPal account-holders would be able to send fund to Bangladesh from USA,’ he said.
The outbound fund transfer would be launched gradually, he added.
Palak did not mention anything about the wallet service.
Palak’s Facebook page has been flooded with comments from social media users, including freelancers, mostly criticising him about his latest clarification.
‘Freelancers were arguing with the government’s declaration as the inbound service of Xoom is already available in the country and it’s not PayPal. So there is nothing new here,’ SM Mehedi Hasan, managing director and co-founder of Coder71 Ltd, a freelancing firm, told New Age on Wednesday.
‘We were demanding for all the services, including inbound, outbound and wallet services, not only the inbound service as all the services are very much essential for us,’ he said.
The inbound service can meet only 10 per cent of the freelancers demand, he added.
Following queries by freelancers, PayPal through its social media platforms said, ‘PayPal is not currently available in Bangladesh and we don’t have news to share right now regarding future plans’.
‘However, Xoom, a PayPal service, has been live in Bangladesh since November 2015,’ it said.
‘Through Xoom, people in the U.S. can send money to loved ones by depositing money to leading banks in the country, including Sonali Bank,’ Xoom said.
The ICT division state minister could not be reached for his comments.
State-run news agency BSS reported that Sajeeb Wazed Joy, information and communication technology (ICT) adviser to prime minister Sheikh Hasina, will inaugurate the PayPal service at a function at the Bangabandhu International
Conference Centre (BICC) in the city.
An official of ICT division said customers can receive the service from nine commercial banks, including Sonali Bank, Rupali Bank and Social Islami Bank and the service will be extended gradually.
‘The PayPal authorities have taken the decision after reviewing the potential and market of Bangladesh,’ he added.
The official said the ICT adviser has provided all sorts of cooperation to ‘launch’ the PayPal for providing the world’s most popular online money transfer service to the country’s people.
PayPal, available in more than 200 markets around the world, enables its account holders to receive money in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds in 56 currencies and hold PayPal account balances in 25 currencies.
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