One of the key challenges faced by the start-ups in Bangladesh is regarding the payment gateway. As an emerging market for tech start-ups and Fintech organizations, the lack of accessibility to a secured channel of the transaction is a concerning issue. In both securing funds and operating a multi-point transaction system, access to a secured globally accepted transaction model is an integral part to develop the financial aspect of any start-up. To this end, Visa Digital Payments brought forward exciting programs to assist the start-ups in their financial operations.
What is Fintech?
Fintech stands for Financial Technology. Simply put, it is the process of incorporating technology in the financial processes of organizations to digitize transactions. Initially, Fintech was limited to the back-end use of financial institutions to develop the infrastructure of the banking system. The core focus was to develop the service at the back end to offer efficiency to the client at the front end.
However, with advancement in the field and tech becoming more and more accessible to people, Fintech took a front-end position as well. Now, Fintech is widely used in various banking processes and is directly available to the customer as credit cards, debit cards, or instant wire transfers even.
The horizon of Fintech, however, isn’t limited to the banking sector alone. With more and more diversification, Fintech has seen prospects in the mobile banking sector, cryptocurrency, and stock exchange as well. Stocks have now become more accessible to people through app-based transactions which are all entailed by Fintech.
Financial Scenario and Constraints Facing Start-ups
In the present context of Bangladesh, start-ups and Fintech organizations require an omnichannel transaction support system for their businesses. Even though cash is still one of the primary bases of the transaction, there is a huge interest in digital payment scenarios as well.
The claim is further backed up by the popularity of bKash, a mobile banking platform powered by Fintech under BRAC Bank. With over 45 million BDT worth of transactions per day and over 22% of all adults of Bangladesh being its user, the popularity of the platform is on the rise for a considerable time now.
This growth trajectory will only continue as more and more start-ups are promoting digital transactions on their platform. Start-ups like Pathao, Foodpanda, and Shohoz offer discounts and cashback offers in various digital payment methods. As more and more people get access to the internet, digital payment platform seems to be the future of monetary transactions.
However, there is still a lack of innovation when it comes to developing the Fintech scenario in Bangladesh. With more than 1700 digital start-ups in Bangladesh, the digitization process is far from the optimum level and the few stories of Fintech integration cannot be considered as the mean value.
There is still a lot to develop in the merchant ecosystem as well as client end facilities. As start-ups in Bangladesh are focusing on the digitization of their platforms, the issues pertaining to the ease of access of the payment channels as well as digitizing currencies remain a burning issue and unexplored opportunities for the start-ups.
What does Visa’s Initiative mean for Startups?
Visa is probably the largest singular body when it comes to digital transactions. They are not only the leader across all the countries of the world but also one of the most secure platforms and channel operators when it comes to online transactions.
Visa recognizes Bangladesh as one of the top emerging markets for tech start-ups and Fintech solutions. However, the company also realizes the lack of ease of business as automation and innovation are still in the nascent stage when it comes to leveraging the full potential of digital payment scopes. To that end, Visa has designed a 12-part webinar for the start-ups and Fintech in Bangladesh to better communicate the service and innovation Visa offers.
The entire webinar is divided into three parts – Visa Connect, Mentorship Series, and Thought Leadership series. Basically, Visa aims to introduce up-and-coming start-ups and Fintech with the cutting-edge technology offered by Visa.
The mentorship program will focus on Visa’s approach in alleviating the Fintech experience for the clients as well as develop processes in the merchant end as well all the while maintaining efficiency and security. The leadership thought series will see Visa work closely with the start-ups to innovate processes to better suit the market of Bangladesh and understand the best means of digitizing transactions.
Visa is working in collaboration with Start-up Dhaka for the project. The country director of Visa for this region, Soumya Basu feels that this is an excellent opportunity for the start-ups to learn about digital transaction systems from a company that has pioneered the platform itself. He also feels that it will create new opportunities for businesses as they perfect their financial modelling and diversify their offering to the client base.
The webinars will start on 17th June 2021. You can learn more about the webinars and the project here.
Truth is that the start-ups in Bangladesh are lagging in the digital transaction landscape. Businesses aren’t able to utilize the existing digital transaction channels properly and neither are their new growth opportunities. To this end, the initiative taken by Visa to promote their services and incorporate them in the growth of start-ups and Fintech is certainly commendable.