BB tightens mobile banking

Lowers transaction ceilings, tightens clients’ identification to check hundi

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:54, Jan 11,2017

 
 

A file photo shows a man sitting in front of a bkash agent-shop in Dhaka. Bangladesh Bank on Wednesday tightened ceiling on transactions through mobile financial services and identification process of clients to tackle ‘hundi’ and money laundering using the services, said officials of the central bank. — New Age photo

Bangladesh Bank on Wednesday tightened ceiling on transactions through mobile financial services and identification process of clients to tackle ‘hundi’ and money laundering using the services, said officials of the central bank.
The BB issued a circular to managing directors and chief executive officers of all banks and their subsidiary companies, which run the MFS, saying that from now on a client would be allowed to transact Tk 15,000 as cash-in and Tk 10,000 as cash-out in a day from the previous ceiling of Tk 25,000 for both cash-in and cash-out.
The central bank also lowered the monthly ceiling on cash-in and cash-out by a client through the MFS to Tk 1.5 lakh and Tk 50,000 respectively from the previous limit of Tk 1.5 lakh for both cash-in and cash-out.
A client will be allowed to make cash-in two times in a day from the previous limit of five times while he or she will be allowed to complete cash-out three times from the previous ceiling of three times.
The BB, however, did not change the monthly limits on cash-in and cash-out as it kept them unchanged at 20 times for cash-in and 10 times for cash-out.
A client will have to show his/her national identity card or its photocopy before the agents of the MFS if he/she wants to transact Tk 5,000 and above, the BB circular said.
The BB in its circular said that the central bank tightened transaction through the MFS after it had recently received allegations that some dishonest persons were misusing the service.
MFS agents will have to preserve the NID number of the clients with their register books.
The agents will have to preserve the record of cash-in and cash-out transactions separately with their register books.
A client will be allowed to open only one account with a bank or its subsidiary company’s mobile financial service.
Banks will have to close immediately all accounts but one in favour of their clients.
Banks will have to repay the balance in the MFS accounts to the respective clients.
The BB asked banks to cancel licences of the agents who would neglect the central bank directives.
The central bank also asked banks to monitor closely the activities of the agents so that they (agents) follow the directives accurately.
The BB earlier asked banks to monitor closely their mobile financial services as it found that Bangladeshi expatriates from the Middle East, Malaysia and South Korea were sending remittance to the country as ‘hundi’ through mobile banking.
Managing directors of a number of banks at a meeting at the BB on November 14 alleged that money was being sent to country illegally using the MFS channel.
Groups of people in different countries collect money from non-resident Bangladeshis but they do not send the dollars to Bangladesh while their local agents give the money in the form of taka to the recipients here through the mobile banking, a BB official told New Age on Wednesday.
Against the backdrop, the central bank tightened the transaction ceiling through the MFS, he added.

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