A Country without barriers
Bangladesh, a land of immense possibilities. They say it’s a green field for innovation. One of the main drives of this country is to move towards a cashless society where goods and services are accessible to anyone regardless of financial stature. We have seen the advent of Mobile Financial Services and ever since the country has seen a tremendous boost of Financial Inclusion in the informal space.
However, in order to truly unite the nation, it is important to marry the Formal economy to the informal economy. The journey in this part of the evolution is perhaps the toughest feet to achieve as there are immense number of banks here.
This is exactly where Circle fits like a glove. It is Circle’s belief that in order to bring true unification, it is first important to make the entire economy to have a global norm. Therefore, Circle is playing a dual role. Circle is building a unification platform on one hand and providing integration solutions to partners/stakeholders on the other.
Connect™ is a global service cloud provided by Circle FinTech Ltd that aims to act as a platform to connect various service and payment providers and clearinghouses in terms of payment, transfers, deposits and withdrawals. It aggregates APIs (Application Programming Interface) provided by different payment processors and banks and exposes end-points to end-to-end service providers, such as m-commerce and OTC (over the counter) so that the end-users of those services can smoothly commit transactions through a uniform interface.
As a Commerce platform, Circle’s Digital Commerce (DCS) not only processes the payment for its ecosystem by providing carefully crafted strategies to invigorate payments/transactions but also ensures stakeholders connecting to Circle always has a healthy growth in their revenue stream and the consumers have a very secured environment to trade in.
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Even to this day, paper money has reserved its standing as the most widely used currency of payment in Bangladesh, while the rest of the world is rendering it as an antiquated coupon of transaction. Plastic money, in the form of debit and credit cards, has gained popularity since the last decade in Bangladesh and has built its way into the mainstream over the years. Unfortunately, while the Bangladeshi economy was gearing up for plastic money, it had already become an over explored model in the rest of the world, and economies were slowly and systematically moving on to more remote transaction solutions such as Digital Transaction Model, the more popular model being Mobile Banking.
Mobile Banking is an emerging concept in Bangladesh. Banks and other financial institutions have been delving into it since 2012 and substantial progress have been witnessed since then. However, due to vendor locked environments and limitations in technology, cross platform transaction, i.e. transfer of money from one mobile banking channel to another and/or rapid Point of Sale Model in a mobile arena still remains an impossible task.
Mobile Banking the term coined in Bangladesh has always been marketed and perceived as a Transfer Mechanism without stepping into the Bank. While this has played a very positive impact on the social fabric where a mother in a village can now receive money from her husband and/or children in order to lead a better life.
But what happens when a fisherman is selling fish to a collector? The transaction does take place in the form of a transfer. While this is great news for the Fisherman and the Collector, it is not good news for NBR (National Board of Revenue) or the Government at large. If you look closely, the Fisherman is rightfully selling his merchandise, however, the collector is getting a double benefit on his procurement when he can buy at a cheaper rate since he is buying at source, the second being the troublesome point, he gets away from paying VAT as the transaction is identified as a transfer and not a payment.
The second aspect is creating more transactions utilising existing and newer mechanisms to be introduced into the market. This will have a boosted impact on transaction generation which in turn has a direct positive impact on the revenue collection. A key concept to consider here is that mechanisms that are released have to have a fast system to reconcile the day end closing. Otherwise the boosted transactions will cease as a surge of backlog will have the impact of clogging up new sales the next day. In addition to this, through the daily reconcile mechanism the merchants will get the daily transferred amount at an early possible time. Reduced processing time of the transferred amount will reduce the interest loss and ensure stakeholder loyalty and satisfaction.
Circle aims to solve the problems highlighted above and be a common platform that will facilitate the transfer of money and/or rapid Point of Sale Model regardless of the vendor or the banks that will be processing the payment.
"Money is a concept that is able to compensate us for the things we need"
- Redwan-ul K Ansari
Money does not need to be physical neither does it need to be visible. Only ubiquitous cashflow can really give this country the freedom it needs.
Everyone deserves the enlightenment of Circle. It is no longer an option to say that a half hearted try was the best try. Connect pledges to provide for all the players in the market and help them reach their true potential.