This article was first published on Insights – Ripple
Citizens of Bangladesh face large financial challenges. More than one third of the population lives below the poverty line and too many have little to no access to services at traditional financial institutions. Enter bKash Ltd., one of the country’s most popular mobile payment providers.
In just over a decade, the company has driven significant impact throughout the country. Today, 36 million customers are part of the company’s “digital economy”—and 90% of them are newly banked because of the revolutionary services the company offers. This figure also represents 80% of the total market share in Bangladesh and amounts to 6.7 million payment transactions per day.
For someone whose company has been the catalyst of such impressive change for so many, CEO Kamal Quadir is not only pragmatic, but he is also extremely humble. As the day two keynote speaker at Swell 2019, he was squarely focused on “the social uplift” of bKash’s technology on the lives of the people who use it.
“We have to be very mindful of the impact of the technology we’re working on,” Quadir remarked. “We have a short life on this earth, and I want to do something meaningful.”
He shared his experience building this impressive payments ecosystem, piece by piece, during an on-stage conversation with Asheesh Birla, SVP of Product at Ripple—a tale about working within the existing regulatory and financial services system in Bangladesh while also capitalizing on the advent of new mobile phone use throughout the region.
“In the developed world, we often take being banked for granted. It’s important to consider the story of a real customer’s needs,” explained Quadir. bKash is enabling millions of people who live and work in urban areas to quickly, cheaply send money home to loved ones in rural ...
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