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Bangladesh Bank has moved to introduce personal retain account (PRA) with banks and mobile financial service (MFS) providers to bring micro businesses under a digital payment ecosystem.

The central bank issued a circular on Monday saying PRA will be applicable for micro and floating entrepreneurs, grass-root vendors and service providers and also for those who operate business or services at personal level through different social media and platforms.

"This will be a very simpliest way of fund transfer between micro-level businesses like vendors, rickshaws pullars or even tea stall operators," Md Mezbaul Haque, general manager of Payment System Department in Bangladesh Bank, told UNB.

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Under the new system, a micro-level business holder like a vegetable seller can receive payment from anybody who has MFS or bank account with digital payment system, he said adding, he can make payment as well to wholesalers.

At present, such system is only limited within merchant account holders and opening of such account requires certain business and other documents.

But the opening of a personal retail account (PRA), there is no requirement of such huge documents.

Bangladesh Bank provided detailed guidelines for banks and MFS to open such accounts for small-scale businesses to bring them within the system.

Mezbaul Haque, also signatory to the circular, said such digital payment ecosystems were introduced in many countries including China where even a street beggar can receive charity from a person. If such system is introduced, it will help reduce frequency of cash transactions and ultimately reduce the cost of both sellers and buyers in any kind of business, he said. Only a certificate from a relevant trade association or local public representative will be good enough to be used to identify the account holders' business or profession, said the BB general manager. The BB asked all banks, MFS and other payment service providers to take immediate steps to facilitate opening of PRA for the targeted groups. These accounts will be used in three categories for making and receiving payments in supply or value chain. These PRA holders can make daily total transaction from Tk 30,000 to Tk 50,000 and monthly highest of Tk 1 million in different categories and the highest balance will be within Tk 500,000.

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