OUR country may appear to be lagging behind the ‘world superpowers’ when it comes to technology, but that does mean our people have not made strides to keep up with global demands. One excellent example of this is the renewed interest in secure money transfers, which happen entirely online.
BKash, of course, is the biggest player in this regard. The ease and safety of such transactions offer to make managing the everyday finances of the common person just that much easier. One of the best online payment services I have found is iPay by iPay Systems LTD, a Bangladeshi company that made an app for Bangladeshis.
The free app is available from both the Apple App Store and Google Play. The little green icon pops up, and you are asked to register. To validate your identity, you will need three documents: a recent photograph of yourself, a picture of your national ID card, and a source of funding — your bank account from which iPay will store money.
You log your bank account details into the form, and iPay sends you a small amount of money. You log in that exact amount, and you have completed registration! This is the only tricky part. The rest of it is straightforward and — in one case — surprisingly fast.
There is an ‘Add Money’ option at the very top of the app home-screen. Tapping on that will give you the option to add money to your iPay account from either the bank account you have provided before or if you have a debit/credit card, transfer money directly from there. The card option works instantly, while the bank transfer will take anything from three to five days.
Once it’s done, you’re free to make cashless payments at any retailers, vendor, or service which accepts ‘iPayments’, as I like to call it. From retailers like Gadget & Gear, Miniso, Unimart, and Priyo to food places like Gloria Jean’s, Burger Lab, and Melange, many of our most well-known shops and eateries accept iPay.
The reason I prefer iPay to other online-finance management services is because of the registration process. Not everyone will have the ability to create and access an ‘eBank account’, which is what most of the other services need if that is your funding source. iPay uses a much simpler verification system, which, despite the time it might take, is much more accessible.
In the end, the choice of modern, cashless payment services is up to the individual. However, for someone like me who is too lazy to go to the bank and make an ‘iBanking’ account, this is the easiest way to remain in bed and still shop!
Sarazeen Saif Ahana is a student of Independent University Bangladesh.
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