State minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak has said Nagad, a leading mobile financial service provider in Bangladesh, has grown into a billion-dollar company within the first three years of its journey.
The state minister made the remark during his inaugural speech as a special guest at the two-day ‘Smart Bangladesh Summit and Expo’ that began at the International Convention City Bashundhara on Friday. Junior Chamber International (JCI) Bangladesh organised the event.
“At least five more unicorns [billion dollar start-ups] will emerge in Bangladesh by 2025. Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given us a solid foundation where talented, courageous and problem-solving entrepreneurs can lead the world from Bangladesh in doing business,” Palak also said, adding that Nagad leads by example.
Nagad, an MFS of Bangladesh Postal Department, embarked on its journey on March 26 in 2019. At the outset, it shook the entire financial industry by innovating electronic know-your-customer (e-KYC). In the e-KYC system, customers can open an MFS account using their smartphone in less than a minute just by taking a photo of their national identity card and a selfie.
Later, the state-owned MFS operator came up with an even easier way to open an MFS account just by dialing *167# on a feature phone. The ground-breaking innovations have brought an end to cumbersome paperwork.
Other MFS operators and financial institutions have also adopted the Nagad-innovated e-KYC system and thus reduced their operational costs to a great extent.
Nagad’s success reflects its use of state-of-the-art technologies that allow the delivery of various services at minimal charges. In some cases, Nagad provides its customers with free of cost services.
Nagad now has several plans lined up with a view to speeding up Bangladesh’s transition to a cashless society.
In four years of its journey, Nagad’s registered customers now stand at 7.5 crore, with its daily transactions hitting more than Tk 1,200 crore on average.
In 2020, the state-owned mobile money carrier scooped the ‘WITSA Global ICT Excellence Award-2019’ for its innovation of account opening just by dialing *167# on a feature phone.