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Mobile Financial Services in Rural Bangladesh: Common Challenges and Possible Solutions

Although Bangladesh is one of the world’s largest markets in terms of active mobile financial services (MFS) users (with more than 25 million active accounts as of April 2017), accessing those services is still a challenge for many Bangladeshis, particularly in rural areas. This infographic shows some of the many challenges that rural Bangladeshis face using MFS and some potential solutions.

Agricultural Value Chains Insights: Opportunities in Bangladesh Event Highlights

The Agricultural Value Chains Insights: Opportunities in Bangladesh event was held on November 22, 2016 at the Amari Hotel in Dhaka. It was co-hosted by USAID’s Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project, implemented by FHI 360, and USAID’s Agricultural Value Chains (AVC) project, implemented by DAI. The event was attended by 50 participants from 30 organizations.

Increased Income Earning Opportunities: Bala’s Story

Kuber Chandra Bala is a fish farmer who had previously participated in trainings offered by USAID's Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) project. In 2014, AIN began paying training incentives to farmers like Bala via mobile money. Bala soon started using his MFS account to make purchases and top up his mobile airtime, saving him time and money. With the time saved, he was able to engage in other income-earning opportunities. This is the tenth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of digital financial services on people's lives.

Mobile Money Infosheet: TeleCash

This two page publication provides an overview of the mobile financial services offered by Southeast Bank Limited, under the brand name TeleCash, in Bangladesh for corporate users. It includes steps for setting up a corporate account, details on pricing and transaction limits, brief examples of how other organizations are using their service, and contact information for their corporate sales. It is one of a series of Infosheets intended to help USAID implementing partners better understand the options that exist for mobile financial services in Bangladesh.

Mobile Money Snapshot: Use Cases of Mobile Financial Services in Bangladesh (by Payment Type)

This document illustrates some of the different ways that mobile financial services (MFS) are being used in Bangladesh. It intends to help USAID’s implementing partners learn more about how mobile financial services are being and have been used for different purposes across different projects and programs implemented by government agencies, private sector players and development organizations.

Mobile Money Snapshot: Use Cases of Mobile Financial Services in Bangladesh (by Beneficiary)

This document illustrates some of the different ways that mobile financial services (MFS) are being used with different types of beneficiaries in Bangladesh. It intends to help USAID’s implementing partners learn more about how mobile financial services are being and have been used across different projects and programs implemented by government agencies, private sector players and development organizations.

Agent Banking 101

Agent banking is the latest innovation in banking services available in Bangladesh. It aims to provide formal banking services to the unbanked, including populations that have traditionally been more inaccessible. Although officially sanctioned by Bangladesh Bank in late 2013, agent banking has only recently started to take off in Bangladesh in the past year and a half. It represents another channel, like mobile financial services, promoted by the Government of Bangladesh to promote financial inclusion.

Mobile Money Snapshot: Department of Youth Development

This two-page publication details the experience of the Department of Youth Development (DYD) in Bangladesh in their transition from cash to mobile payments. It includes an overview of their activities, the types of transactions they transitioned to mobile, what that transition process entailed, and challenges and benefits associated with their transition. It also includes key takeaways from their experience so that others can apply DYD’s lessons learned to their own transition to digital payments.

Deep Dive into the Mobile Financial Services Offered in Bangladesh: Presentations by two leading providers | Workshop

USAID’s mSTAR project aims to increase operational efficiency and productivity across USAID Bangladesh’s agricultural and health portfolios through mobile and electronic payment adoption. Aligned with this objective, mSTAR Bangladesh facilitates quarterly and district-level technical workshops to increase awareness and competence of relevant USAID implementing partners (IPs) on the benefits of using mobile payments. 

Mobile Money Tipsheet: Bridging the Mobile Financial Services Gender Divide

USAID promotes increased access to and usage of mobile financial services in order to deepen financial inclusion, accelerate broad-based economic growth, and instill transparency into funding flows. These tipsheets are intended to assist USAID implementing partners in Bangladesh to more effectively make use of mobile financial services.

Mobile Money Tipsheet: Checklist for Rolling out Mobile Money

USAID promotes increased access to and usage of mobile financial services in order to deepen financial inclusion, accelerate broad-based economic growth, and instill transparency into funding flows. These tipsheets are intended to assist USAID implementing partners in Bangladesh to more effectively make use of mobile financial services.

From Farmer to a Mobile Money Champ: Sagor's Story

Adopting mobile money does not only bring benefits to development organizations, but it can also bring about dramatic change in the personal and professional lives of staff and beneficiaries. This MM Experience tells the story of Sagor, a beneficiary farmer of USAID's Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) program implemented by WorldFish. Sagor is now popularly known in his community as a mobile money champ. This is the fifth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of mobile money on people's lives.

Avoiding Theft in Urban Slums: Khadija's Story

Adopting mobile money does not only bring benefits to development organizations, but it can also bring about dramatic change in the personal and professional lives of staff and beneficiaries. This MM Experience tells the story of Khadija, a health agent with Dnet's MAMA Initiative, who is now more empowered and in control of her money as a result of Dnet's transition to paying her with mobile money. This is the fourth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of mobile money on people's lives.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Mobile Money Consultative Group Meeting Minutes February 2015

The mSTAR/Bangladesh-organized Mobile Money Consultative Group held its second meeting on February 19, 2015. The MMCG serves as a platform through which stakeholders can share their experiences using mobile money, as well as to identify opportunities for new product innovations and barriers that may exist in effectively using existing products to reach remote and underserved populations. Over 20 representatives from the donor community and development sector attended and contributed to the constructive dialogue. This summary provides meeting highlights. 

Mobile Money in Action: Myths, Facts and Simulations | Workshop Report

USAID’s mSTAR project aims to increase operational efficiency and productivity across USAID Bangladesh’s agricultural and health portfolios through mobile and electronic payment adoption. Aligned with this objective, mSTAR Bangladesh facilitates quarterly and district-level technical workshops to increase awareness and competence of relevant USAID implementing partners (IPs) on the benefits of using mobile payments. 

The Future of Mobile Payments in USAID Health Projects and Programs: Workshop Report

USAID’s mSTAR project aims to increase operational efficiency and productivity across USAID Bangladesh’s agricultural and health portfolios through mobile and electronic payment adoption. Aligned with this objective, mSTAR Bangladesh facilitates quarterly and district-level technical workshops to increase awareness and competence of relevant USAID implementing partners (IPs) on the benefits of using mobile payments. This workshop focused on training frontline manager on MM and its benefits, and on the role of the mSTAR project.

Mobile Money Tipsheet: 5 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing an MFSP

USAID promotes increased access to and usage of mobile financial services in order to deepen financial inclusion, accelerate broad-based economic growth, and instill transparency into funding flows. These tipsheets are intended to assist USAID implementing partners in Bangladesh to more effectively make use of mobile financial services. 

mSTAR Quarterly Report | Q3 FY14

The five-year Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) award is a broad, flexible, and responsive program designed to foster the rapid adoption and scale-up of mobile money, mobile access, and mobile data in developing countries.

Mobile Money Snapshot: Save the Children

USAID promotes increased access to and usage of mobile financial services in order to deepen financial inclusion, accelerate broad-based economic growth, and instill transparency into funding flows. mSTAR/Bangladesh produces these mobile money snapshots describe the experiences of USAID- and non-USAID-funded organizations that have begun to replace cash with digital payments so that others can apply their lessons learned to their own transition to digital payments.

Mobile Money Snapshot: TB Care II

USAID promotes increased access to and usage of mobile financial services in order to deepen financial inclusion, accelerate broad-based economic growth, and instill transparency into funding flows. These mobile money snapshots describe the experiences of USAID- and non-USAID-funded organizations that have begun to replace cash with digital payments so that others can apply their lessons learned to their own transition to digital payments.

Mobile Money Snapshot: PROSHAR Cash for Work Program

USAID promotes increased access to and usage of mobile financial services in order to deepen financial inclusion, accelerate broad-based economic growth, and instill transparency into funding flows. These mobile money snapshots describe the experiences of USAID- and non-USAID-funded organizations that have begun to replace cash with digital payments so that others can apply their lessons learned to their own transition to digital payments.

Mobile Money Infosheet: mCash

mCash, which is operated by Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, offers a range of products and services, including cash transfers between individuals (P2P) and between businesses/organizations and individuals (B2P), fund transfer between bank accounts to/from mobile accounts, student fee payments, salary disbursements and withdrawals, bill payments, merchant payments, airtime purchases, and international remittance payments. Its accounts are set up in accordance with Mudaraba Principles of Islamic Shari’ah.