Bangladesh Bank on June 30 issued a set of guidelines that encouraged the payment service providers including banks and mobile financial service providers over transferring customers’ funds to e-commerce business entities.
With complaints and concerns over the sustainability of numerous e-commerce platforms from consumers prompted the government to come up with regulations over the financial transactions of the entities.
In various cases, customers were not provided with the products or facing delays to get the products and customers had purchased from the e-commerce platforms even after, the transfer of money to the e-commerce entities by the PSPs such as banks, payment, system operators, e-wallet services, MFS operators.
Due to this, the overall e-commerce businesses were facing a lack of trust along with the sufferings of customers as well as the payment service providers.
The central, to support growth, reduce the risk of the PSPs, retain public trust and interest over the e-commerce businesses, set up guidelines for the release of money in favour of the e-commerce businesses by the PSPs, which customers provide to the e-commerce businesses against the purchase of goods and services via PSPs.
The central bank, in the guidelines, allowed the banks, MFS operators and other PSPs to continue to provide services to the e-commerce merchants, delivering emergency or essential commodities and services by 5 days to their customers, under the current terms and conditions on their own judgement.
For the entities having trade licenses and operating showrooms as well as an e-commerce business, the PSPs were asked to continue providing services under existing terms and conditions if such e-commerce platforms were delivering products or services within 7 days.
The PSPs, however, in providing service under the current terms and conditions, were requested to consider if the e-commerce platforms’ product delivery was satisfying to the customers or not.
Other than those of e-commerce businesses that will provide services in 5 to 7 days, the central bank gave instructions to the PSPs to hold the payments made by the customers against the purchase of products and release the money in favour of e-commerce businesses upon the completion of a number of steps.
The Bangladesh Bank stated that the verification of delivery of products on a random basis would be a major responsibility of the PSPs.
The central bank also encouraged the payment service providers to stop providing service temporarily to any e-commerce businesses on their own judgement.
The payment service provider, before the service suspension to e-commerce platforms, will have to ensure that the e-commerce entity has provided false information on the delivery of products or services to its customers to get funds released from the payment service provider.
To check if the e-commerce platform was providing incorrect information or not, the payment service providers will have to check the validity randomly of delivery information provided to them by the e-commerce entities.
If found false, the PSPs were asked to inform the central bank about the issue.
In the guidelines, PSPs were asked to take measures on their own judgment to automate the payment-clearing process so that the delivery of products to the customers can be ensured.
Besides receiving payments through PSPs, the central bank also allowed the e-commerce businesses to continue their existing cash on delivery or payment on delivery service.
The guidelines provided by the central bank would be applicable only for e-commerce businesses’ transactions with individuals.