The country's leading mobile financial service provider bKash has returned to profit after three years – 39 months to be exact – as it saw a higher revenue and earned a significant amount from government securities and fixed deposits in the July-September quarter of this calendar year.
In Q3 of 2022, the net revenue of bKash grew 28% year-on-year to Tk857.84 crore and its net profit reached Tk46.54 crore, officials of its parent Brac Bank told The Business Standard.
The fintech giant's profit for the first nine months of this year stood at Tk4.07 crore, while its net revenue was around Tk2,502 crore.
The mobile financial service provider had been in profit until 2018 since its inception in 2011, but it suffered significant losses between 2019 and 2021.
bKash officials then said the company was spending a lot to expand the business and add new services, which was why it was suffering losses. They, however, were hopeful that the company would return to profit on time.
When contacted, bKash Head of Corporate Communications Shamsuddin Haider Dalim told The Business Standard that it is essential for a fintech company like bKash to invest in technology to build a robust platform of innovative services. "It is also crucial to think long term."
"bKash's sustainable business model is always customer-centric. We are hopeful that our conscious investment will yield positive results in due course of time," he said and added that essential technology upgradation and product diversification will remain their prime focus.
In the meantime, a brokerage firm's analyst seeking anonymity told TBS that the competition in the mobile financial service sector has increased sharply since the arrival of the Nagad in 2019.
"So, bKash has increased its strategic investment to introduce more technology for enhancing client services. Even though the company incurred losses, it would be able to reap the benefits of the investment."
Brac Bank holds 51% shares of bKash while Money in Motion LLC of the US owns 16.45%, Alipay Singapore E-Commerce 14.87%, International Finance Corporation 10.36%, and SVF II BEAM (DE) LLC 7.32% shares.
"Mobile financial service has appeared as the key to financial inclusion. It has been possible to deliver financial services to people of all incomes through the services. As a result, the popularity of the services is increasing day by day," the Bangladesh Bank, in the latest report on mobile financial services, said.
An average of Tk2,876 crore was transacted through mobile banking services every day in July, it noted and added that the number of registered customers of mobile banking stood at 18.09 crore at the end of the month.