Digital payments gain popularity at Ekushey Book Fair

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Customers at Ekushey Book Fair are increasingly using digital system like bKash to pay for books.

Although the publishers adopted the system last year, the response from the visitors is huge this time, said the people concerned, adding that the system has made the transactions hassle-free.

Besides, the book buyers are enjoying discounts from bKash if they use the system to make their payments at the fair.

“Payment through bKash (in book fair) was a new experience for me. I opened my bKash wallet mainly to receive money from my father at home. But I could use it now for other purposes too, for example, in buying books,” said Rumana Rahman, a Dhaka University student.

She bought 10 books from the book fair making the payments through bKash.

Hasnat, another student, chose some books to buy but saw the money he had in his wallet and bKash account not sufficient.

He called a friend and asked him to transfer some money to the bKash account. Finally, Hasnat could buy the books of his choice.

Like Rumana and Hasnat, a good number of visitors at the book fair, are choosing bkash to make payments.

bKash, the leading mobile financial service provider in the country, has signed agreements with more than 120 publishers to accept payments through bKash by the customers.

The service provider also offers 10% cash back if the wallet users make the purchase through bKash.

The offer got started on February 7 and has been able to generate positive response from the book lovers.

On the other hand, though the number is few, some publishers are also accepting debit and credit cards as mode of payment.

“The book fair is no more a cash-only affairs. Introduction of bKash, debit and credit cards as payment option brings a lot of benefits to customers,” Milon Kanti Nath, owner of Anupom Prokashoni, told Dhaka Tribune.

Milon, also president of the Publishers Association, said though they had started accepting digital payments since last year but this year the response is huge.

“Everyday we are selling some books using digital payment system. But it is difficult to say how much the number is,” Milon said.

Asif Ahmed, head of marketing at bKash, said the response from customers is “very encouraging.”

According to bKash authorities, payment through bKash is free of charge and books already sold using bKash worth Tk5 lakh.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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