WE ARE passing through a very tough time because of a surge in the COVID-19 infection and mortality rate. The ongoing lockdown has also burdened every one. However, life needs to move on, services and businesses also need to carry forward even in this time when banks remain closed and offices are shut.
Even in this tough time everything can move on with the support of innovation and collaborative approach. Only technology can do that and innovative approaches can help the country to move forward its economic wheel amidst the health crisis. At Nagad, we have started with this collaborative approach since our inception in March 2019. In offering digital services, everyone needs to understand that there is none who has invented everything individually and changed lives of people.
If mobile money carriers, e-commerce ventures, digital service platforms, mobile phone operators, other service providers and companies that use technology can collaborate with each other, we would be better placed to deliver services to people. Nagad is one of the platforms that have adopted the best possible collaborative approach.
We offer customers to send money free from our wallet. Our cash-out charge having been the lowest, it will help people to do their required transactions smoothly.
We also have partnership with mobile network carriers so that people who even do not have Nagad wallet can easily open account to access the service. This is the most constructive partnership in the financial world and the country will be benefit from it, especially amidst the health emergency.
We have learnt a lot in the past one year passing through the COVID-19 outbreak. This one year has taught us so many things that were crucial. Mobile money seized the opportunity to mitigate challenges. People have also learnt to quickly access digital services — a development that will help people this time.
In the past one year, we have partnered with thousands of merchants who could pay their bills sitting at home. When and if needed, users can also add money from their bank accounts to the Nagad wallet and everything happens smoothly.
During the general holiday in 2020, we became the lone source for mobile operators to run their regular transactions which helped them to run their operations in remote areas. When the agents of mobile operators could not carry out their daily transactions with their head offices, we extended our helping hand and mitigated their challenges.
All the big fast-moving consumer goods companies are Nagad’s partners; and their payment and transaction process will be hassle-free. Nagad is also the lone mobile financial service operator that has the facilities to pay the COVID-19 testing bills digitally.
A good number of digital education and health platforms are also on our network which can help to offer innovative and affordable services. We also have arrangements to collect tuition fees of educational institutions so that students and their parents can avoid visiting campuses or banks to reduce the health risks. People can pay all kinds of insurance premium through our platforms as well.
The march forward of mobile financial services got a new lease in April 2020 when the government decided to provide financial assistance for 50 lakh families who lost job because of the general holiday. Later, many apparel factories also gave wages to their workers using mobile financial services.
This time we have a better preparation and the mobile money industry will play a huge role in the coming days until the COVID-19 situation improves.
Digital services like Nagad will help the economy keep rolling during the lockdown. At the same time, we will be able to take the digitisation process of the financial industry to a new height.
Tanvir A Mishuk is managing director of Nagad.
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