PayPal starts operation in Bangladesh

 

Global online payment system PayPal has launched its cross-border payment service 'Xoom' to enable freelance remittance earners to receive their payments in 40 minutes from overseas.

Prime Minister's Information and Communication Technology Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy launched the operation expecting the service to benefit expatriate Bangladeshis through legal channels and boost the remittance sector.

"Around 1.18 crore expatriate Bangladeshis sent about US$13 billion remittances last year, I hope the amount to be increased from now on with the use of legal channels in sending remittance," he told the function.

Joy appreciated the Xoom service as it enabled everyone to send money to Bangladesh round the clock of a week within a short time.

Xoom officials said one could send money within 40 minutes to two hours to Bangladesh through logging in directly to PayPal website or apps.

They said freelancers could use the service free of cost if the amount of the remittance was above US$1,000, but one would have to pay $5 as service charge if the amount was below $1000.

Under the Xoom service, one can send money $10,000 at a time and the customers can receive the service from nine commercial banks, including Sonali Bank, Rupali Bank and Social Islami Bank.

Joy said freelancing is gaining momentum in the country as the ICT Division by now provided training to 13,000 youths to grab the opportunities of outsourcing of foreign countries and "many of them now earn money".

He said the government took a plan to reduce the internet costs in one or two years and provide high speed and reliable internet connection responding to the freelancers' demand.

"In 2008, the cost of one Mbps internet was Taka 80,000. I said, I will reduce the cost and it will be Taka 800 within 5 years and we did it. Now the rate is Taka 600," Joy said.

He said the government by now solved most of the internet and cell phone operators' problems while the 4G service was set to be launched by this year.

"I demanded the mobile operators to launch 4G service at least in city areas within the year. They have 24 problems. We have already solved 22 problems," he added.

Joy said the ICT division also took an initiative to make an online system to bring all monitory transactions under a state-run online system to be regulated by Bangladesh Bank.

He said despite being advanced countries like the United State and United Kingdom were exposed to 2009-2010 global recession which Bangladesh evaded due to pragmatic "isolation" policy of the Awami League government.

State Minister for ICT Affairs Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Ministry of Post Tele Communication and Information Technology Imran Ahmed, Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir and ICT Division Secretary Subir Kishore Chowdhury attended the function.

Vice President, General Manager Xoom at PayPal Julian King also sent a message during the inaugural session appreciating Bangladesh government for its ICT supportive policies.

"One of this highlight of today's event is to showcase that someone in the US can now send money to a bank account in Bangladesh directly from their PayPal account via Xoom," he added.

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