|Founded||July 21, 2010|
|Headquarters||Shadhinata Tower, 1, Bir Sreshtha Shaheed Jahangir Gate, Dhaka Cantonment, Dhaka 1206|
|Services||Payment system|
|Parent||BRAC Bank, Ant Financial, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Money in Motion LLC, International Finance Corporation, SoftBank Vision Fund|
bKash (Bengali: বিকাশ) is a mobile financial service in Bangladesh operating under the authority of Bangladesh Bank as a subsidiary of BRAC Bank Limited. This mobile money system service company started as a joint venture between BRAC Bank Limited, and Money in Motion LLC. As a mobile financial service (MFS) provider in Bangladesh, bKash users can deposit money into their mobile accounts and then access a range of services. In particular, transferring and receiving money domestically and making payments. Services like mobile recharge or paying utility bills are also possible through bKash USSD (*247#) and bKash App. A user can receive remittance on bKash. In November 2021, bKash became the first ever unicorn startup (a startup whose valuation is $1 billion or more) company in Bangladesh. In May 2023, bKash turned into the sole Bangladeshi brand accomplice of the Argentine Football Association
Fortune magazine ranked bKash among the top 50 companies in their Change the World list in 2017. According to Fortune, 22% of Bangladeshi adults use bKash with around 4.5 million daily transactions. Asiamoney magazine declared bKash as the Best Digital Bank (2018). World HRD Congress declared it as one of Asia's best employers in 2017.
bKash was launched by Kamal Quadir and Iqbal Quadir. In the mid-2000s, mobile financial services had taken off in the Philippines, Kenya, and other emerging markets when the two Quadir brothers decided to bring it to Bangladesh. In need of a local partner, the Quadir brothers began to engage BRAC's founder, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, in 2008. Discussions between them and Abed continued over a two-year period. In 2010, they committed to establishing a joint venture between Money in Motion and BRAC Bank. bKash launched in 21 July, 2011 in Bangladesh, with basic services: Cash In, Cash Out and Send Money, keeping in mind that more than 70% of the population of Bangladesh lives in rural areas where access to formal banking services is difficult for people. More user-demanded services like airtime top-up, bills payment, train-movie ticket purchase were introduced over its span. Now it has its own mobile application, it has been recognized as the best innovation at the Financial Innovation Category in Bangladesh Innovation Award 2018 for its simplified and useful features.
bKash started in 2011 as a joint venture between BRAC Bank Limited, Bangladesh, and Money in Motion LLC, United States of America. In April 2013, International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, became an equity partner, in March 2014, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation became an investor in the company, and in April 2018 Ant Financial, the operators of Alipay (an affiliate company of Chinese giant Alibaba Group), became an equity partner, announced a strategic partnership to promote financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked communities in Bangladesh. Later, in November 2021, bKash announced an investment from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 to promote financial inclusion by building a digital financial ecosystem in Bangladesh.
- ^ "bKash and Ant Financial in strategic partnership to promote financial inclusion for the unbanked in Bangladesh". bKash. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- ^ "Bangladesh's bKash revolution". The Banker.
- ^ "Business Model of bKash" (PDF).
- ^ Harmachi, Abdur Rahim; Correspondent, Chief Economics; bdnews24.com. "1% bonus on bKash remittance along with 2% govt incentive". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
- ^ "Startups that made headlines this year". The Daily Star. 21 December 2021. Retrieved 14 May 2023.
bKash became country's first Unicorn
- ^ "Remittance thru bKash grew by 70% during Eid". The Business Post. 1 May 2023. Retrieved 14 May 2023.
- ^ "bKash CEO on the Transformative Impact of Financial Inclusion". Bkash (bkash.com). 12 May 2023. Retrieved 14 May 2023.
- ^ "bKash set to reach $2bn mark in valuation". BizData Insight. 14 November 2021. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
- ^ "SoftBank investment to raise bKash's valuation to $2bn". The Business Standard. 14 November 2021. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
- ^ "La Asociación del Fútbol Argentino presenta su primer acuerdo de patrocinio regional en Bangladesh, con la compañía bKash" [The Argentine Football Association presents its first regional sponsorship agreement in Bangladesh, with the company bKash]. afa.com.ar. 8 May 2023. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
- ^ "Love for Argentina recognised as AFA, bKash tie up". The Daily Star. 8 May 2023. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
- ^ "bKash becomes 1st regional sponsor for Argentina national team". Dhaka Tribune. 9 May 2023. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
- ^ a b "Fortune lists bKash among 50 companies that are changing the world". Dhaka Tribune. 11 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- ^ "IFC Inclusive Business Case Study | bKash" (PDF). IFC.org.
- ^ "BRAC Bank's bKash Launches Mobile Banking Services in Bangladesh". brac. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- ^ "bKash: Tip of the Iceberg". The Daily Star. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- ^ "BKash wins Best Financial Innovation award". Dhaka Tribune. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
- ^ Al-Mahmood, Syed Zain (24 June 2015). "Mobile Banking Provides Lifeline for Bangladeshis". The Wall Street Journal.
- ^ "Alibaba buys 20pc stake in bKash". The Daily Star. 27 April 2018.
- ^ "SoftBank investment to raise bKash's valuation to $2bn". The Business Standard. 14 November 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2022.