Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The central bank of Bangladesh is going to launch electronic funds transfer system for the first time across the country from February 24 this year in order to facilitate the overall business activities as well as boost the economy, officials said on Tuesday. 
The decision was taken at a meeting with chief executives of all commercial banks held at the Bangladesh Bank (BB) Tuesday with its Governor Atiur Rahman in the chair. 
Under the new payment system, the corporate entities will be able to pay their employees’ salaries, utility bills, IPO refund warrant, company dividend and other payments using ‘electronic funds transfer’ network without cheques. 
“Such a fund transfer system will help build a Digital Bangladesh by 2021,” a BB senior official told BBN in Dhaka, adding that the central bank would extend its automated payment system to Chittagong and Sylhet within the next month. 
On October 7 last, the central bank launched its automated payment system using the automated cheque clearing device among 1200 branches of all 47 scheduled banks and the government bodies in the capital Dhaka.
The bank branches will be empowered to clear high-value cheques from January 31 to help the business community in Dhaka. 
Under the arrangement, any bank cheques amounting to minimum BDT 500,000 and above will be cleared the same day of depositing those with the central bank.
The central bank introduced the same-day clearing system among a few bank branches in the capital in 2003.
The Bangladesh Automated Clearing House (BACH), the automated payment systems platform, has two components – the first one is Bangladesh Automated Cheque Processing Systems (BACPS) and the second Bangladesh Electronic Funds Transfer Network (BEFTN).
“We’re now working to implement both BACPS and BEFTN fully aiming to facilitate business activities through modernising the payment and settlement systems,” the BB official noted.
BBN/SI/AD-04Jan11-9:29 pm (BST)