Without the provision of digital wallet, the e-commerce business in Bangladesh will be stagnated at some point.
Pointing out that harsh truth, speakers at a seminar titled ‘Business Growth and enhancing consumer experience through Online Payment System’ said that with cash-on-delivery (COD) still dominating the e-commerce ecosystem, the true digital revolution in the country is yet to take place.
The session was arranged on the third day of the BASIS Softexpo. Nawat Asheqin, Head of e-commerce of SSL Wireless presented the keynote paper during the seminar.
The true nature of e-commerce
In a bid to give some perspective on the nature of e-commerce, Asheqin said, “Suppose if you are hungry and you order some food from a restaurant through an online food delivery service. The food was delivered at your door step where you made the payment simply by COD (cash on delivery) method.”
“Now, tell me, how it is different from going to the restaurant by yourself and making the payment there?” “The truth is, there is not that much difference, said Asheqin.
“E-commerce simply makes sense when the entire procedure is being carried out through online platform-from searching for the product, placing the order and then making the payment.”
It means the shift of complete marketing from physical to an online platform, he said.
Zia Ashraf, founder and COO of chaldal.com said that the shift towards digital payment in shopping through e-commerce websites has become the need of time.
“It is not because of the fact that already 22% of the users are doing payments online or because it has increased the GDP or because there are eight million debit card users in the country.”
“The shift is necessary to ensure your own convenience,” he said, “If you want to buy a single product, you can look up thousand websites which sells similar products. You can survey yourself on the varieties of prices and qualities only with some clicks instead of wondering about from one market to another physically. And finally you can pay through typing some numbers instead of dealing with cash with another person.”
The trust issue
Fahim Mashroor, CEO of bdjobs.com who is also the owner of ajkerdeal.com said the problem is, customers want to see things live with their eyes, hold them with hands and buy that product through money after getting a complete assurance about it. Looking into some pictures of products online is not therefore a very trustworthy choice for them. “Interestingly, the young students have more trust on the ecommerce than the adults. Around 38% of the students are now giving their different fees online. This rate is higher compared to the rate of sold tickets by Shohoj.com or the payments made by bkash.”
Fahim said that even bkash was not being trusted so easily at first. “With the proof of authorization and guarantees, people have slowly turned towards that,” he said.
If digital wallet is developed and the stringent regulatory barrier in the payment getaway is removed then it will create the scope of providing incentive culture in the online purchase in the country, he said.
“This will boost the e-commerce sector as well as the overall business. In developed countries where the paper currency is increasingly becoming obsolete, people have been habituated in online purchasing through credit card because of this incentive culture.”
“There people know that if they buy product from ‘this’ website with ‘this’ bank’s credit card, then they will get free millage in ‘that’ airlines. This motivated the buyers to purchase more because then they feel like that ‘buying more’ is actually giving them more.”
Fahim reiterated that to establish that culture here in Bangladesh there is no option but to create digital wallet culture.
Need for credit card
Sayed Mohammad Kamal said that the number of credit card holders is still very low in Bangladesh. “If the number of credit card is increased then the number of true e-commerce users will also increase here.”
Kamal said that the central bank has put a regulatory barrier in spending more than one thousand dollar. “If this regulatory barrier is nit revised then it will act as hindrances in developing the e-commerce sector.”
The Mastercard country director also said that people in Bangladesh still has a trust issue in doing financial transaction through online. “There is no security issue in conducting financial transaction because Bangladesh has the provision two factor authentication (2fa) in online payment mode.” He said that with 2fa, if the all of the information of the credit card is even stolen, no transaction can be made with a certain code, which is only provide to the registered cell phone during a transaction.
“Not only that, the card companies are closely monitoring the transaction and in case of a dubious transaction, the users are notified immediately. So I think security is not an issue in popularizing the online payment system in the country.”