Bangladesh has made significant strides in promoting financial inclusion in recent years, but many people in the country still lack access to basic financial services. The Binimoy platform, powered by the Interoperable Digital Transaction Platform (IDTP), aims to bridge this gap by providing digital payment services to the unbanked population. In this blog post, we will explore the Binimoy platform and the IDTP in detail and look at their impact on financial inclusion in Bangladesh.
What is the Binimoy Platform?
The Binimoy platform is a digital payment service that enables users to conduct transactions seamlessly across different financial institutions. The platform is owned and operated by the Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of Bangladesh. It is designed to promote financial inclusion by providing digital payment services to people who do not have access to traditional banking services.
The Binimoy platform allows users to make transactions using their mobile phones. Users can transfer money, pay bills, and purchase goods and services using the platform. The platform also supports QR code payments, which allows users to make payments by scanning a QR code.
What is the IDTP?
The Interoperable Digital Transaction Platform (IDTP) is a central payment switch that connects different payment service providers in Bangladesh. The IDTP enables interoperability between different payment systems, allowing users to conduct transactions seamlessly across different platforms.
The IDTP is designed to promote financial inclusion by providing a common platform for different payment service providers. This reduces the cost and complexity of connecting different payment systems, making it easier for smaller players to participate in the market.
How does the Binimoy Platform use the IDTP?
The Binimoy platform is built on top of the IDTP. This allows users of the Binimoy platform to conduct transactions seamlessly across different payment service providers. For example, a user of the Binimoy platform can transfer money to someone who uses a different payment service provider, such as bKash or Rocket, without having to use a separate app or service.
The IDTP also enables the Binimoy platform to support QR code payments. QR code payments are becoming increasingly popular in Bangladesh, especially in the retail sector. By supporting QR code payments, the Binimoy platform is able to cater to the needs of a growing number of users who prefer this payment method.
The Binimoy Platform in Bangladesh
Binimoy is a digital platform launched by the government of Bangladesh to provide financial and other services to the country’s rural and low-income population. The platform was launched in 2018 and is operated by the Bangladesh Post Office.
Binimoy offers a range of services, including savings and loans, insurance, remittances, and bill payments. The platform operates through a network of agents who are appointed by the Bangladesh Post Office. These agents are typically small business owners, such as grocery store owners, who have been trained to use the platform and offer its services to their customers.
One of the key features of Binimoy is its use of digital technology to enable financial transactions. Customers can use their mobile phones to access the platform and perform transactions, such as depositing money, making payments, and applying for loans. This is particularly important in rural areas of Bangladesh where access to traditional banking services is limited.
Binimoy has been well received in Bangladesh, with the platform attracting over 10 million users within its first year of operation. The platform has also helped to promote financial inclusion in the country, particularly among women and those in rural areas who have traditionally been excluded from financial services.
Binimoy Inauguration Program
On November 13, 2022, Sajeeb Wazed Joy, the Prime Minister’s IT Advisor, inaugurated the revolutionary platform ‘Binimay’ at the Radisson Blu in the capital, which marks a milestone for the payment sector in Bangladesh with abundant opportunities ahead. In 2008, when the dream of a digital Bangladesh was first expressed, there was no framework for building a digital nation anywhere in the world, said Joy. He expressed that within the next few years, the government aims to provide 100% of services digitally, and digital centers have been established in four and a half thousand unions for the village people in just one year. All apps have been developed in-house without any foreign organization’s collaboration. Joy was thrilled to inaugurate ‘Binimay,’ which would facilitate transactions, and he stated that their next goal was to work towards a cashless society.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, the State Minister for ICT, and NM Zeaul Alam, Senior Secretary, ICT Division, were present at the event as special guests. Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder chaired the session, while Mezbaul Haque, Director, Payment System Department, BB, provided a presentation explaining the platform’s key features. State Minister for ICT, Zunaid Ahmed Palak, explained how Bangladesh is moving towards a smart Bangladesh based on a digital Bangladesh, while Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder presented how Bangladesh Bank has been supporting the digitization journey in the financial and payment ecosystem.
Officials at the IDEA of the ICT Division, who developed the platform, said that customers would be able to transact money easily from banks to mobile banking services and vice versa through Binimoy. bKash authorities stated that this platform would increase customer freedom by simplifying financial transactions. Shamsuddin Haider Dalim, head of corporate communications, bKash, expressed that they believed this technological integration initiative by Bangladesh Bank and the government’s ICT Division would empower customers and provide more freedom in financial transactions.
How Does Binimoy Work?
Binimoy works as a service integrated into the app of banks and mobile financial service (MFS) providers; hence, no separate app is being developed under the name of Binimoy. To utilize this service, customers need to register first, which generates an ID with binimoy.gov.bd appended to the customer’s name. Once the registration is complete, customers can see two options, namely ‘Send Money’ and ‘Receive Money.’
To send money to someone, customers can select the ‘Send Money’ option and choose one of the MFS accounts they have, such as bKash or Rocket. They can then enter the mobile number of the person they want to send money to, or if the recipient has a Binimoy ID, the money can be sent through that number. On the other hand, to receive money, the recipient can select the ‘Receive Money’ option and receive the money to any MFS financial institution number in their account.
How to open a Binimoy account ID
To register for a Binimoy account ID in Bangladesh, there are various options available from different platforms such as bKash, Rocket, Cellfin, etc. Here are some steps for registering from each platform:
Registration from bKash:
- Log in to the bKash app.
- Scroll down and click on the Binimoy option.
- Click on “Binimoy” and then press “OK.”
- Click on the “Register Now” button.
- Enter your email ID and a unique ID, then press “Confirm.” If the ID is not unique, you can add numbers to make it unique.
- Finally, set a 6-digit secret PIN for the Binimoy account and submit.
Registration from Rocket:
- Log in to the Rocket app.
- Scroll down and go to the Binimoy option.
- Enter your email ID and enter a unique ID with a small letter, then click on “Confirm.” If the ID is not unique, you can add numbers.
- If you want someone to send money to your Binimoy account, it will be deposited directly into the Rocket account. In that case, select “Yes” in the “Is default credit account” option and tap on the “Submit” button.
- Finally, set a 6-digit secret PIN for the exchange account and submit.
Registration from Cellfin:
- Log in to the Cellfin app.
- Go to “Fund Transfer” and click.
- Scroll down and click on Binimoy.
- Click on “User Registration” (You may find details by clicking on “About Binimoy”).
- Write receiver name keeping account selected and press “Submit.”
- Enter a 6-digit PIN for Binimoy and submit.
- Enter the Cellfin PIN and submit.
Binimoy Charges And Fees
On November 10, 2022, Bangladesh Bank released a notification that outlined the charges for IDTP. According to the instructions, sending money from MFS (such as Bikash) to MFS (like Rocket) will incur a cost of Tk. 5 per thousand. For sending money from MFS (Bikash, Rocket, etc.) to the bank, a charge of Tk. 10 per thousand will be levied. Additionally, sending money from MFS to a Payment Service Provider (PSP) account will cost Rs 5 per thousand.
For each transaction using the Binimoy platform, the receiving institution will charge a fee of 50 paise to the Binimoy authority. A service charge with a specified rate of VAT will apply for using the platform. However, if the receiving institution is a bank, the inoperative fee will not be applicable.
Binimoy Platform Partnerships
Currently, not all banks have joined the Binimoy platform. However, the following institutions have already participated: mobile banking services such as bkash, Dutch-Bangla Bank Rocket, and Islami Bank Mcash, as well as BRAC Bank, United Commercial Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, Eastern Bank Limited, Midland Bank, Al-Arafah Islami Bank, City Bank, Pubali Bank and Sonali Bank Limited.
Initially, transactions were initiated among 11 institutions, including eight banks and three MFS institutions. Additionally, a payment service provider (PSP) named Tally Pay will be included. bkash and Rocket have already launched the service on November 6, and bkash also participated in the pilot projects.
Advantages of Binimoy platform:
Interoperable digital transaction platforms (IDTP) like Binimoy are designed to facilitate the exchange of value between different parties. By enabling the seamless exchange of funds, IDTPs have the potential to revolutionize the way businesses interact with each other. The benefits of IDTP like the Binimoy platform include improved transaction security, privacy, and efficiency. Here are some of the key benefits of the Binimoy platform:
- Increased Efficiency:
The Binimoy platform can reduce friction in business transactions by enabling the direct exchange of funds between parties and platforms. This can lead to improved efficiency and reduced costs for businesses. Users get instant access to all types of payment service providers through Binimoy, and all stakeholders including Customers, merchants, agencies, and other PSPs can operate 24/7 real-time transactions.
- Enhanced Security:
The Binimoy platform provides a more secure environment for transactions by incorporating features such as decentralized storage and end-to-end encryption. This can help protect businesses from fraud and cyberattacks. The exchange system allows customers to transact using virtual IDs instead of their account numbers, which helps keep their account number anonymous and secure. This platform will also prevent financial crimes because the exchange authorization standards used in Binimoy will verify each transaction and develop patterns analysis, thereby making it more difficult to launder money, finance terror and evade tax.
- Improved Transparency:
The Binimoy platform can improve transparency by providing a clear audit trail of all transactions. This can help businesses track their supply chains and ensure compliance with regulations.
- Greater Inclusion:
The Binimoy platform can enable financial inclusion by providing access to banking services for underserved populations. It will play an important role in the socioeconomic progress of the country. Binimoy is set to reduce the dependence on any specific finance channel and will play a vital role in Digital and Smart Bangladesh.
Transactions with Binimoy are a cost-effective way to pay and get paid. It saves money, time, and effort for payment procedures.
- Cashless journey:
The Binimoy platform allows users to enjoy the cashless society journey by paying and receiving digitally across platforms without making transactions in cash.
Offering a cashless interoperable payment mechanism, Binimoy will boost the e-commerce and f-commerce sectors. Payment solutions will no longer be a headache for businesses and entrepreneurs. Fintech companies will be motivated for better fund mobilization in real-time.
- Fund utilization:
Binimoy is set to ensure the most effective use of funds. As money transfers do not waste time or keep waiting, people get payments in real-time and can utilize the funds efficiently. A temporary fund crisis is solved with timely fund receipts from clients. So, businesses can run more confidently and competently with this newly-introduced system.
- One ID for all financial transfers and transactions:
The most important advantage brought to you by the Binimoy platform is that a single account will serve all the purposes of fund mobilization across providers. Any account in any platform like a bank or MFS is enough to perform transactions with all banks, NBFIs, MFSs, and PSOs without any barrier. Interoperability has made it possible to do all financial transfers and transactions with just a single account ID of Binimoy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Binimoy:
- Are all banks and MFSs connected with Binimoy?
No, currently not all banks and MFSs are connected with the Binimoy platform. Only 11 selected partners are currently offering this service.
- Does Binimoy have a mobile application?
No, there is no mobile application for Binimoy as of now. However, it may be introduced in the future.
- What is the official website of Binimoy?
There is currently no official website for the Binimoy platform.
- How much did it cost to develop the Binimoy platform?
The Binimoy platform has been developed at a cost of Tk. 65 crore, although the initial budget for this was Tk. 55 crore.
- Which model was followed to develop the Binimoy platform in Bangladesh?
The Binimoy platform was developed using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) model, which is an instant real-time payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
The Binimoy platform and the IDTP are game-changers for financial inclusion in Bangladesh. The platform provides digital payment services to the unbanked population, while the IDTP enables interoperability between different payment service providers. Together, they make it easier and more affordable for people in Bangladesh to access basic financial services. As the use of digital payments continues to grow in Bangladesh, the Binimoy platform and the IDTP will play an increasingly important role in promoting financial inclusion and driving economic growth in the country.