Interbank payment and fund transfer through National Payment Switch Bangladesh (NPSB) increased by 28.1 per cent or Tk 308.51 crore year-on-year in February despite stagnancy in transaction through point-of-sales.
In February this year, 1,406.4 crore was transacted through the NPSB system while the figure was Tk 1,097.89 crore in February last year, BB data showed.
Interbank transaction through NPSB, however, declined by 4.58 per cent or Tk 67.46 crore in February as the figure was Tk 1,473.86 crore in January this year.
The transaction through NPSB includes payment through automated teller machines and point-of-sales and internet banking fund transfer.
The central bank introduced the system in December 27, 2012 for ATM interoperability, cost interoperability, internet banking interoperability, mobile financial service interoperability and other functions as well.
BB has initiated measures to bring mobile financial services under the NPSB system so that the MFS users would be able to transfer fund from one MFS operator’s account to another, BB officials said.
Growing use of NPSB has made payment and withdrawal of fund very easy and faster, they said.
Transaction through IBFT (interbank fund transfer) under the NPSB increased by Tk 57.91 crore to Tk 62.76 crore in Febraury this year from only Tk 4.85 crore in February last year.
IBFT was introduced in November, 2017.
So far, interbank transactions of 13 banks are processed through the NPSB system.
ATM payment, representing 88 per cent of NPSB transaction, increased by 25.75 per cent or Tk 250.39 crore year-on-year in February this year.
Payments through ATMs increased to Tk 1,222.68 crore in February this year from Tk 972.30 crore in February last year.
Transaction through POS remained almost same at Tk 120.72 crore in February this year with a marginal (0.17 per cent) growth, prompting the central bank to issue directive to the banks and non-bank financial institutions to connect their POS with NPSB by December 31, 2019.
The previous deadline was December 31, 2018.
Banks, however, have been recommending that the central bank should create a backup for the NPSB system so that any sort of problem in the system could not create any catastrophic situation in the money market.
In September last year, Association of Bankers, Bangladesh chairman Syed Mahbubur Rahman at a discussion said, ‘I would like to request Bangladesh Bank to relax its mandatory policy of routing all card transactions through the National Payment Switch Bangladesh.’
‘If the NPSB collapses for any reason, the entire banking transaction system will be disrupted,’ said Mahbubur, also the managing director and chief executive officer of Dhaka Bank.
‘Single point of failure is always risky. I request Bangladesh Bank to give options to banks for choosing the routing route for all domestic card transaction through NPSB or international schemes,’ he said.
At present, 53 banks are operating card business in Bangladesh.
Among those, interbank ATM transactions of 51 banks and POS transactions of 50 banks are being routed through the NPSB system.
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