Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladesh Post Office has launched trial run of the long-awaited mobile banking service in three hubs in the capital Dhaka aiming to rejuvenate its business.
The new service touted Post e-Pay would provide a range of financial services, including money transfer, bill payments, cash deposits and withdrawals. The users would be able to check their transaction information and balance too.
Post and telecom Minister Sahara Khatun inaugurated the commercial test service on Sunday at the GPO in Dhaka. Initially, the service has been made available in three post offices in Dhaka — GPO, Sadarghat and Banani.
The post office is implementing the service jointly with the technical support of fixed phone operator Bangla Phone and Commlink Infotech Ltd, a sister concern of Bangla Phone.
Minister Sahara Khatun said the post office would have to compete with private banks which have very interesting offers to get its customers.
If the officials of the postal department work hard they would be able to provide the services, she said.
Managing Director Amjad H Khan of Bangla Phone said the customers would have to register with their particulars at post offices, where Post e-Pay has been launched.
A photo ID such as national ID or copy of the passport would be required, while finger print and photo would be kept by the post office agents, according to Mr. Khan. 
Customers would have to have an internet enabled mobile phone to get the service. The post office was also trying to get support from mobile operators so that customers could use very basic mobile phones as well, he added.
However, the customers would have to go to the post offices to deposit or withdraw cash.
The post office would charge BDT 3.0 for every transaction while it would take BDT 5.0 for cash withdrawals.
Director General Nayeb Delwar Hussain of Bangladesh Post Office said all upazila post offices would have the Post e-Pay service after its successful operation in seven divisional headquarters.
Two private banks – BRAC Bank and Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd — are providing financial services via mobile phones in the country with the help of carriers. They have 1.8 million registered customers, according to central bank officials.
BBN/SSR/AD-17Dec12-11:05 am (BST)