When Bangladesh Post Office launched a new money order service in the form of Electronic Money Transfer Services (EMTS) back on March 26, 2010 - the state-run postal department was the pioneer in particular segment of money remittance business.
In a gap of just eight years something must have gone wrong that today EMTS appears running out of steam as some of its counterparts from the private sector doing fantastic.
With people remitting lesser amount of money now through EMTS, the government has decided to reduce the EMTS service fees to keep this service alive at a time when private rivals doing aggressive marketing with reduced fees and greater accessibility.
Post and Telecommunication Ministry recently sent a proposal to the Finance Ministry seeking to cut the service fees as the amount of money people remit through EMTS dropped from Tk 2,161.49 crore in 2012-13 financial year (FY) to just Tk 118.22 crore in 2016-17 FY.
"To stay afloat in the market, the Post and Telecommunication Ministry has sent the proposal to reduce its charges," a senior official of the Finance Ministry told UNB.
In the proposal the Post and Telecommunication Ministry sought to cut fees for remitting Tk 1000 from current Tk 18.50 to Tk. 10. It also proposed to re-fix the rate at Tk 20 from Tk 74 for remitting Tk 4000, Tk 25 from Tk 92.5 for remitting Tk 5000 and Tk 50 from Tk 185 for remitting Tk 10,000.
It also proposed to reduce the fees to Tk 100 from Tk 370 for remitting Tk 20000, Tk 150 from Tk 555 for sending Tk 30,000 and Tk 250 from Tk 925 for sending Tk 50,000.
A senior official of the Postal Department said that this service was introduced on March 26, 2010. At the initial stage the service gained huge popularity among the consumers. People started to send money through this service as this service was very much convenient for them.
But this service faced tough challenge while the private mobile banking system started to provide their service as the rate of service fees comparing to the other market players are high. As a result the people diverted their interest to those private mobile banking system, he said.
He also mentioned that the private market players have huge number of agents across the country while people can open their personal account for sending and receiving money through their personal mobile phone numbers. They don't need to go anywhere for receiving money. They just need to go to the agent for cash out. People can even pay their shopping bills by sending money from this account.
On the contrary, though Bangladesh Post Office has in excess of 9,000 facilities all over the country it offers EMTS from 2750 post offices only.
What is EMTS?
The regular paper based money order service of the post office seemed a time consuming, expensive and inefficient approach of remit money to any part of the country. There was a demand for quick transfer of money to locations where the beneficiary can collect and use it instantly. With this perspective in view, Bangladesh Post Office launched a new money order service named Electronic Money Transfer Service (EMTS), commonly known as Mobile Money Order Service. This fulfilled the expectations of people to remit the desired amount of money to their near and dear ones so as to utilise when they need.
According to Bangladesh Post Office's official site, "This (EMTS) is mobile as well as web based remittance service available in all important post offices of the country. The sender can send the money within a minute and recipient/beneficiary can collect it instantly. Both sender and recipient get confirmation of the remittance and disbursement as soon as it is made in their mobile phones."
This service is available in all important post offices of the country. Presently 2750 post offices provide the EMTS which is covering all district, upazilla/thana and important/busy rural post office locations. Every month hundreds of post officials are being trained and the service is expanded to those locations, stated the official site of Bangladesh Post Office. n
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