Transactions through mobile financial services, widely known as MFS, rose 29.13% year-on-year, amounting to Tk77,022 crore, this March riding on diversified services by the operators.
The volume is also 13% higher than that of the previous month of February, according to the latest data of the Bangladesh Bank.
The mobile banking service has been gaining rapid popularity since the beginning of the pandemic thanks to the "staying home" and increased online shopping tendencies.
Besides, remittance inflow and disbursals of different government stipends, donations and private-sector factory salaries through MFS contributed largely to the sector boom.
March transactions saw a great surge on puja and Eid-ul-Fitr as many city dwellers sent money to their families at village homes, MFS operators said.
They added that they are constantly adding new services to ease out-of-traditional bank transactions and facilitate digital payments for utility bills, shopping and others. Centring Eid-ul-Fitr, some of them have introduced "Eid Salami", which also gained popularity.
Of March transactions, users deposited some Tk23,707 crore to their accounts, withdrew Tk20,791 crore, transferred (person to person) Tk22,288 crore and paid different bills worth Tk1,232 crores, the central bank data said. They also received Tk2,877 crore as salaries and stipends through the MFS.
The number of MFS users increased to 10.91 crore – 6.31 crore male and 4.56 crore female – at the end of March, while the number of agents surged to 11.51 lakh, it added.
The mobile banking service started its journey with the launching of Dutch-Bangla Bank's initiative Rocket in early 2011. Currently, 13 banks are operating mobile financial services, including the widely popular bKash by Brac Bank.
Apart from MFS, internet banking is also getting popular over time thanks to technological advancement. According to the Bangladesh Bank data, some Tk24,141 crore was transacted through the internet banking service in March, up by Tk10,371 crore or 81% year-on-year.