Global online payment system PayPal on Thursday launched its cross-broader payment service ‘Xoom’ in Bangladesh to enable freelance remittance earners to receive their payments in 40 minutes from overseas, said a report of state-run news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha.
Prime minister’s ICT affairs adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy inaugurated the operation expecting the service to benefit expatriate Bangladeshis through legal channels and boost the remittance sector, it said.
‘Around 1.18 crore expatriate Bangladeshis sent about $13 billion remittance last year, I hope the amount to be increased from now on with the use of legal channels in sending remittance,’ he told the inaugural function.
Joy appreciated the Xoom service as it enabled everyone to send money to Bangladesh round the clock of a week within a short time, said the BSS report.
Freelancers, however, told New Age that the Xoom service was in fact launched in Bangladesh in 2015 and they have been waiting for the actual PayPal service with all its features — inbound and outbound money transfer and wallet facility— to be launched in the country.
The government in last one year repeatedly said that ‘PayPal’ would be launched in the country.
In a full-page advertisement in different newspapers, the ICT Division on Thursday showed that PayPal+Xoom service would be launched in the country.
According to the BSS report, Xoom officials said one could send money within 40 minutes to two hours to Bangladesh through logging in directly in PayPal web site or apps.
They said freelancers could use the service free of cost if the amount of the remittance was above $1,000, but one would have to pay $5 as service charge if the amount was below $1000, said the BSS report.
Under the Xoom service, one can send money $10,000 at a time and the customers can receive the service from nine commercial banks including
Sonali Bank, Rupali Bank and Social Islami Bank.
‘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 making demand 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.
Freelancers said that only anyone having PayPal account in the USA could send money to Bangladesh.
According to the BSS report, Joy said freelancing was gaining momentum in the country as the ICT Division by now provided training to 13,000 youths to grab the opportunities of outsourcing in foreign countries and ‘many of them now earn money’.
He said the government took a plan to reduce the internet costs in one or two years and provide high-speed and reliable internet connection responding to the freelancers’ demand.
‘In 2008, the cost of one Mbps internet was Tk 80,000. I said I would reduce the cost and it would be Tk 800 within 5 years and we did it. Now the rate is Tk 600,’ Joy said.
He said the government by now solved most of the internet and mobile phone operators’ problems while the 4G service was set to be launched by this year.
‘I demanded the mobile operators launch 4G service at least in city areas within the year. They have 24 problems. We have already solved 22 problems,’ he added.
Joy said the ICT Division also took an initiative to make an online system to bring all monitory transactions under a state-run online system to be regulated by Bangladesh Bank.
He said despite being advanced countries the United State and the United Kingdom were exposed to the 2009-2010 global recession which Bangladesh evaded due to pragmatic ‘isolation’ policy of the Awami League government.
State minister for ICT affairs Zunaid Ahmed Palak, standing committee on posts, telecommunications and information technology ministry chairman Imran Ahmed, Bangladesh Bank governor Fazle Kabir and ICT Division secretary Subir Kishore Chowdhury attended the function.
Vice-president, general manager Xoom at PayPal Julian King also sent a message during the inaugural session appreciating the Bangladesh government for its ICT supportive policies.
‘One of this highlight of today’s event is to showcase that someone in the US can now send money to a bank account in Bangladesh directly from their PayPal account via Xoom,’ he added.
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