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Bangladesh Country Report

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  • Published Date: January 2021

A complete review of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Bangladesh, with perceptive observation backed by significant data.
Although the pandemic has negatively impacted purchase volume and transactions, a revolution is underway centred around mobile payment and P2P methods. This is finally making inroads on cash usage.
In 2020, mobile payments at the POS exceeded debit card purchase volume. The credit cards market is tiny but profitable, with a ceiling of 20 percent interest recently set for credit cards. Appropriately licensed non-bank entities have been rolling out white-label ATMs and POS terminals, extending the acceptance reach.
An interoperable QR code, Bangla QR, is currently being deployed, which should find popular favour given the ease of use, interoperability and the increasing penetration of compatible phones.

Key takeaways from this Bangladesh payments report

How mobile payments are transforming the market.
Why white-label hardware licensing is key.
How contactless has fared since its debut.
Where the best growth prospects lie.
How the debit card is viewed by consumers.

Our latest Bangladesh report covers topics such as:
Consumer payment trends: the split between cash, card, transfers, digital wallets, direct debit as well as buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) trends.
Credit card data: including profit pools, profit drivers, country comparisons.
Acquirers and processors' market share: partnership prospects and online and e-commerce opportunities.
Regulatory environment: latest developments and forecast trends

BANGLADESH CARD PAYMENTS REPORT | KEY FACTS

  • More than 90 percent of consumers still pay for their goods and services by cash. However, the pandemic has pushed Bangladeshis to move towards cashless.
  • On the back of high mobile penetration, mobile financial services have been broadening financial inclusion, threatening traditional banking services.
  • The payments environment is likely to become a hybrid of cash and mobile payments, following the heavy promotion of cashless options.
  • Bangladesh's e-commerce sector, which first became a billion-dollar industry in 2020, is showing strong growth during the coronavirus crisis, with consumers now able to use both debit and credit cards to make online payments.
  • There has been an impressive increase in retail banking touchpoints over the last several years. In addition, agent banking was introduced by the central bank in 2013 and has since become a catalyst for financial inclusion.
  • Despite the low credit card penetration, there has been strong growth in the absolute number of active credit cards.
  • The cards market is dominated by debit cards, which have room to grow much further.
  • The Bangladeshi credit card industry, albeit microscopic, is a profitable one, with an estimated pre-tax profit in 2020 of $36 million.
  • American Express has taken over as the leading credit card network by cards in issue, followed by Visa, which leads on billed volume.
  • The leading debit card network by cards in issue is a proprietary scheme issued by Dutch-Bangla Bank.

Bangladesh Payments Research | Report Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Cards market
Mobile payments
Profit pool
The networks
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Online acquiring
Regulatory and other cards market information

Appendices: Card Payments Data

Appendix I: Demographics and the economy

  • Demographic and economic indicators
  • Ownership of key consumer devices
  • Internet usage by population

Appendix II: Payments environment

  • Access points
  • Account penetration
  • Consumer payment trends
  • B2C e-commerce payment methods

Appendix III: Cards market data

  • Total cards payment metrics
  • Contactless cards metrics
  • Credit card numbers
  • Total credit cards metrics
  • Credit cards profitability indicators
  • Debit cards numbers
  • Debit cards metrics

Appendix IV: Mobile payments

  • Mobile money metrics
  • Mobile proximity payment metrics
  • Mobile P2P payments

Appendix V: Profit pool

  • Profit pool

Appendix VI: Card networks

  • Networks' credit card market shares
  • Networks' credit card numbers
  • Networks' credit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of credit card transactions
  • Networks' average credit card transaction value
  • Networks' debit card market shares
  • Networks' debit card numbers
  • Networks' debit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of debit card transactions
  • Networks' average debit card transaction value

Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers

  • Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers
  • Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings
  • Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers

Appendix VIII: Acquirers and processing

  • Merchant acquirer credit card market share
  • Credit card merchant service charges
  • Merchant acquirer debit card market share
  • Debit card merchant service charges
  • Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
  • Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
  • Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers
  • Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions

Appendix IX: Online acquiring data

  • Online merchant acquirer market share

Bangladesh Country Report | Selected Extracts

Demographics and Economy
Bangladesh is now considered one of the success stories in contemporary South Asia: in October 2020, it emerged that its per-capita GDP will exceed India's by the end of 2020, a shock to the status quo.

Payments Environment
Bangladesh is still predominantly a cash-oriented society. While the government is pushing for a reduction of cash use, it remains integral to daily life, in particular in rural areas.

Cards Market
By the end of 2020, the total number of active payment cards in issue, not including prepaid cards, in Bangladesh amounted to an estimated 26 million, up from eight million in 2014.

Mobile Payments
Verisk Financial Research (VFR) expects continued strong growth in billed volume for the forecast years. Billed volume is expected to close out the year at over $63 billion in 2020, increasing from just under $12 billion in 2014.

Profit Pool
Although tiny given the country's population, the Bangladeshi credit card industry is profitable, with an estimated pre-tax profit in 2020 of $36 million.

Card Networks
Credit cards comprise a tiny slice of the payments market in Bangladesh, representing a mere two cards per 100 adults in 2020. The leading debit card network in Bangladesh is a proprietary scheme issued by DBBL. Visa is the leading network by billed volume.

Key Retail Banks and Issuers
There is a total of 60 scheduled banks currently in operation in Bangladesh: these may be split into six different groupings.

Acquiring and Processing
The City Bank is the leading credit card issuer, as well as being the leading acquirer of credit cards at the POS. It is also the largest acquirer of debit cards at the POS.

Online Acquiring
The online acquiring and processing market in Bangladesh has expanded greatly in recent years. The total amount of online acquired billed volume came to an estimated $532 million in 2020.

Regulatory and Markets Information
The World Bank, in a report on regulatory predictability, highlighted ineffective banking regulation and supervision as challenges that have weakened the Bangladeshi banking sector.

Bangladesh Payments Report | Entities Referenced

Agrani Bank
Alibaba
American Express
Amex
Apple Pay
Bangla QR
Bangladesh Bank
Bangladesh Commerce Bank
Bangladesh Development Bank
Bangladesh Krishi Bank
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission
Bank Al-Falah
Bank Asia
BASIC Bank
BB
bKash
BRAC Bank
Chaldal.com
Citibank
City Bank
Commercial Bank of Ceylon
Compass Plus
Daraz.com
DBBL
Diners Club
Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited
Eastern Bank
EBL
e-Cab
Electronic Money Transfer System
EMTS
FIS Global Services
Google Pay
GPAY
Grameen Bank
GrameenPhone
Habib Bank
HSBC
IBBL
iPay
Islami Bank Bangladesh
Janata Bank
JCB
Lanka Bangla Finance
Mastercard
Meena Click
MTB
Mutual Trust Bank
Nagad
National Bank of Pakistan
NexusPay
Omnibus
Othoba.com
Prime Bank
Priyoshop.com
Probashi Kallyan Bank
Rajshahi Krishi Unnoyon Bank
Regulatory Fintech Facilitation Office
Rocket
Rupali Bank
Samsung Pay
Shawapno.com
Sonali Bank
Southeast Bank
Standard Chartered Bangladesh
State Bank of India
SunGurd System Access
The City Bank
Tieto Enator
TPS Pakistan
UCB
UnionPay
United Commercial Bank
University of Dhaka
Upay
Valyo
Visa
Woori Bank
World Bank

MORE ASIA-PACIFIC CARDS & PAYMENTS REPORTS

Verisk financial reports include detailed market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring, retail banking, and consumer credit in the Asia Pacific region. Analysts use primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and finance experts.

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