Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The central bank of Bangladesh has slashed transaction ceiling on mobile banking to check illegal financial operations through misusing the mobile financial services (MFS).
Under the restricted provisions, daily maximum transaction limit on cash-in came down to BDT 15,000 from BDT 25,000 while maximum cash-out limit to BDT 10,000 from BDT 25,000.
Besides, monthly maximum cash-in limit has been slashed to BDT 100,000 from BDT 150,000 while maximum monthly limit on cash-out came down to BDT 50,000 from BDT 150,000.
A mobile bank accountholder will not be allowed to make withdrawal, officially known as ‘cash-out’, above BDT 5,000 within 24 hours after cash-in, according to a notification, issued by the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, on Wednesday.
Talking to BBN, Shubhankar Saha, spokesperson for the central bank, said the central bank has tightened its policy to discourage illegal transaction using the MFS.
“Over-the-counter (OTC) transactions may come down following the revised policy but that is our target,” Mr. Saha, also executive director of the central bank, explained.
Currently, BDT 7.0 billion is transacted a day through the MFS on average, with the majority of transactions via OTC.
“MFS is a fast-growing service that attained huge popularity among mass people, particularly lower-income group. But allegations have it that some dishonest persons are misusing this service, which is harmful to the country and the nation,” the circular reads.
The central bank also asked the banks for providing MFS not to allow any person to operate no more than one mobile bank account against his/her NID (national identity card).
Any mobile bank accountholder will have to show photocopy of his/her NID to the agent concerned for both withdrawing and depositing cash amounting to BDT 5,000 and above, according to the notification.
The agent will have to maintain the cash-in and cash-out separately with signature or fingerprint of the clients.
The BB also asked managing directors and chief executive officers (CEOs) of the banks for providing MFS to cancel licence of the agents immediately if found negligent in complying with the provisions.
The central bank of Bangladesh had given permission to 20 commercial banks for running their mobile banking business across the country.
Of them, 18 commercial banks have already started mobile banking by using mobile-phone network, according to the BB officials.
Under the existing guidelines, the country’s bank-led model will offer an alternative to conventional branch-based banking to un-banked population through appointed agents facilitated by the Mobile Phone Network Operators (MNOs) or solution providers.
The banks and their partners will have to comply with the existing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT)-related laws, regulations and guidelines issued by the central bank from time to time, according to the guidelines.