Pathao Pay suspended

FE Report | Published: September 21, 2018 09:57:21 | Updated: September 22, 2018 20:59:21

Pathao Pay, the wallet service of app-based ride-hailing operator Pathao, has been suspended as the central bank questioned legality of its payment system.

"We didn't permit Pathao to operate such payment system," Md Serajul Islam, spokesperson for the Bangladesh Bank (BB), told the FE on Wednesday.

Law-enforcement agencies along with BFIU (Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit) will look into the matter if the service continues, said Mr Islam, also an executive director of the BB.

Talking to the FE, another BB official said any interested party has to get a licence from the central bank as a payment service provider (PSP).

Under the existing regulations, both payment system operator (PSO) and PSP will have to take licences from the regulator to run their businesses.

The central banker also termed the e-wallet service risky.

The BB's Payment Service Department is the sole regulatory authority to issue payment service licence to any entity.

But Pathao did not seek its approval before launching such a service, according to the central bankers.

When contacted, a senior official of Pathao told the FE that the wallet service will be operational again within a month after completing work in its back end.

"We didn't receive any letter from the central bank in this regard," he added. Pathao launched its wallet service six week ago, claiming that it only wanted to learn how 'users/riders react to cashless payment in a cash-first society'.

It came into prominence by offering a ride-sharing service in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet cities. Pathao offers two more services, including logistics and food delivery.

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