POST TIME: 12 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 13 March, 2018 04:58:15 PM
QR code payment makes inroads into Bangladesh

QR code payment makes inroads into Bangladesh

Mahbubul Haque is no stranger to QR code payment. He came back to Bangladesh from the US two years ago to open his business here.  

“While I lived in Scranton city in the US, I used to pay for my coffee in the Starbucks through QR code,” he said.

So, Haque got excited when saw at a news portal that Bangladesh is going to have a QR code payment system. “Carrying cash is considered as backdated in Western cities. I believe Bangladesh is will adopt this easy and secure payment system,” he said.

The Bank Asia Limited launched QR-code based payment in its banking and payment services last week. The City Bank Ltd was the next one to launch it four days later.

Arfan Ali, managing director of Bank Asia Ltd, told The Independent they always wanted to introduce a new and more secure payment system.

Arfan Ali said their system was being developed by Kona Software Ltd, a Korea–Bangladesh joint venture company, that specialises in developing high-end financial software.

Minaoar Hossain Tanzil, managing director of Kona Software Lab Ltd. said they have developed KonaPay, one of the most popular mobile payment platforms used in South Korea. “KonaPay is used by over one million people in Korea. So when we were approached to develoep a QR code-based payment platform for Bangladeshi financial organisations, we jumped at the opportunity,” he added.

Tanzil explained that the QR code system is a two-dimensional code, which is made up of black-and-white squares that can be read by smartphone cameras, point of sale (POS) terminals or other devices.

QR code was first invented for the automotive industry in Japan and patented by Denso Wave, a Toyota subsidiary, but anyone can use QR codes as long as they follow the code standards, he said.

By using the QR code payment mode, the customer simply needs to open up the smartphone app of the respective payment service and scan the QR code on the merchant’s counter, which will populate all the necessary merchant information on his app.

 After that, the customer simply needs to enter the amount and authenticate the transaction using his/her PIN or password.

Tanzil said the financial transaction market is changing globally. ”The effect of that change is gradually being felt in Bangladesh. The mobile app doing financial transactions is not like any other app. The most important part of such an app is its security,” he added.

He also said that for developing a QR code payment system, one needs to explore the research and development approach. “You need to create a foolproof system. If you leave any hole, the the system will be compromised through that anomaly,” he added.

South Bangla Agricultural Bank is also working on developing its own QR code payment system. Mizanur Rahman, head of the IT of SBAC, told The Independent their payment system will be launched soon.

“We'll see more consumer adoption as consumers get accustomed to using QR codes and start using them at small outlets, such as vegetable vendors, in the near future” he said.