Grameenphone and Aspire to Innovate (a2i) have recently joined hands to introduce a secure and efficient payment method on the go for multiple government services through Direct Operator Billing (DOB).
Grameenphone subscribers can now pay 32 government services by using their mobile balance, read a press release on Thursday.
In this regard, a formal event was held at the a2i office where key officials from both Grameenphone and a2i were present and shared their views on the collaboration.
DOB is an easy and efficient method that enables subscribers to pay for services (i.e., digitally consumable services, utility bills, etc.) right from their handsets using mobile balance through a few simple steps.
It brings multiple government services to their fingertips, but also allows users to make transactions and clear due payments without having to go through complex and time-consuming banking channels, making the customer journey transparent and simple.
The opportunity will enable convenient, fast and safe payment facilities for Grameenphone subscribers – especially those living in rural and remote areas and currently underserved by formal banking and financial institutes.
To use this option, a customer needs to select Mobile Balance from the ekPay payment gateway on the prottoyon.gov.bd portal while paying for the desired service. After providing the mobile number and OTP, the service fee will be deducted from the subscriber’s mobile balance. To use the facility, a subscriber must first complete profile creation on the portal through NID verification.
“Our unified mobile payment system, ekPay connects all banks and MFS providers to enable P2G (person to government) payments for hundreds of public services including 23 utilities”, said Project Director a2i, ICT Division Dr Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir.
Kabir also said “Despite the meteoric rise of MFS and agent banking in the last decade, 18 per cent of the adult population, especially in rural Bangladesh, are still unbanked. To promote inclusivity in P2G payments, we are introducing direct operator billing (DOB) with mobile operators in the government ecosystem.
"This is a positive step towards ensuring financial inclusion in achieving our vision of a Smart Bangladesh 2041, with a direct impact on TCV (by reducing time, cost, and visits). We intend to onboard more government services to enhance citizen’s convenience.”
“With this integration, we are ensuring that people from all walks of life have access to government services right at their fingertips through our nationwide network strength and coverage”, said CDO of Grameenphone Solaiman Alam.
He also added, “We thrive on ensuring inclusivity and simplifying our customer’s digital lifestyle which helps us live our purpose of empowering people and connecting them to what matters most to them. I am grateful to a2i for their wholehearted support and cooperation in making this possible.”