According to commerce ministry documents, numerous e-commerce companies in Bangladesh owe more than Tk 160 crore due to violations of the escrow system, causing funds to remain trapped in payment gateways. The escrow system was implemented in response to scandals where e-commerce firms accepted advance payments but failed to deliver products. It ensures that payments are made only after product delivery.
However, several companies neglected this requirement. Out of the implicated firms, 14 have returned Tk 364 crore, while the remaining 13 are yet to issue any refunds. The deputy secretary of the Central Digital Commerce Cell, expects the remaining amount to be repaid within three to four months once the companies provide a complete list of affected customers. However, individuals who made advance payments prior to June 30, 2021, are unlikely to receive refunds. The owed funds were deposited to payment gateways including bKash, Nagad, Software Shop Limited, shurjoMukhi Limited, and Foster Corporation. Efforts are being made to address conflicts and ensure the return of funds to affected customers.