Freelancers in Bangladesh will now be able to receive payments instantly to their bKash account from all over the world through Payoneer.
Payoneer, a US-based commerce technology company powering payments and growth for the new global economy; Brac Bank, a leading private commercial bank of Bangladesh; and bKash, Bangladesh's largest mobile financial services provider jointly launched the service through a virtual event on Thursday.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for information and communication technology (ICT), inaugurated the service as the chief guest.
Russel T. Ahmed, President of BASIS; Rohit Kulkarni, Regional Senior Vice President of Payoneer and Robert Clarkson, Chief Revenue Officer of Payoneer; Selim R. F. Hussain, Managing Director & CEO of BRAC Bank and Kamal Quadir, Chief Executive Officer of bKash along with senior officials of respective organizations also joined the event.
“I would like to thank bKash, Payoneer and BRAC Bank for making the process faster and secured for the freelancers," Palak said, adding that skilled human resources are their greatest strength.
He said around 6,50,000 freelancers of the country have been contributing 16 per cent to the world’s online outsourcing.
According to a study by Oxford Internet Institute, Bangladesh is the second-largest destination for online outsourcing, Palak said.
During the last 13 years, 2 million young technology-based employment have been created with various initiatives and policies of the government, and we are working for further expansion, he added.
“Bangladesh is a key growth market for Payoneer globally,” said Robert Clarkson, Chief Revenue Officer of Payoneer.
Clarkson said they have always believed in the incredible potential of Bangladeshi entrepreneurs and this partnership with bKash highlights their commitment to invest in and provide the best solutions for our local customers.
"Our mission is to be a partner of growth for digital businesses of all sizes, from all corners of the world. We are thrilled to team up with local leaders like bKash and BRAC Bank to empower Bangladeshi freelancers to expand their economic opportunities.”
Selim R. F. Hussain, Managing Director and CEO of BRAC Bank, said they are delighted to be a partner of bKash and Payoneer in bringing earnings of the freelancers directly and instantly to bKash account.
"This service will give comfort and convenience to the freelancing professionals and enhance remittance inflow to the country in legal channel. Together we can play an enabling role in making Bangladesh a global freelancing hub and boost foreign exchange earnings.”
Kamal Quadir, CEO of bKash, said riding on the expanding digital infrastructure of Bangladesh, there is ample opportunity to take the country's freelancing sector to a stronger position in the global market.
"The easy method of getting payments in their bKash accounts through a regulated process will remove one of the key pain points of freelancers, which is to conveniently receive payment from their clients. This will surely encourage more people to start freelancing as well as help the existing ones dedicate more time and attention to their tasks.”
The 24/7 real-time payment service will bring more dynamism to the thriving freelancing sector and accelerate the flow of remittance through legal channels to the country.
As per the Oxford Internet Institute’s Online Labor Index, Bangladesh is a global powerhouse when it comes to ICT freelancing services.
Hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshi freelancers are currently providing services in this sector worldwide.
They are adding hundreds of millions of dollars a year in foreign exchange to the country's economy. Bangladesh is one of the top income generating sources from freelancing in the world.
With this new service tailored for local freelancers, bKash customers will be able to easily register a new Payoneer account, or link their existing account from the ‘Remittance’ icon of the bKash app.
Once linked, freelancers can check their Payoneer account balance, and instantly bring their payments to their bKash accounts.
These funds can be used for any purpose including ‘Send Money’ to other bKash accounts, ‘Pay Bill’, ‘Payment’ of shopping, ‘Cash Out’, etc.
Freelancers from every corner of the country no longer need to wait to receive remittance payments, addressing a key challenge to growth for these workers.
BRAC Bank will play a pivotal role in this service as the foreign currency management and international fund settlement bank, bKash said.
On the occasion of this launch, customers receiving the highest amount of payment each day will be given a mobile phone starting from February 10-16, 2022.
A customer can receive this prize only once during the campaign.
To be eligible, the amount of money coming from Payoneer to the bKash account should be more than Tk 15,000 in one or more transactions.
The prizes will be handed over to the winners at the end of the campaign.
In addition, bKash is offering 2.0 per cent instant cashback on every Payoneer transaction from February 10 to March 10, 2022.