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Huge sum of customers’ money stuck

Payment gateways loiter over paying back money

Published : 23 Oct 2021 10:38 PM | Updated : 24 Oct 2021 01:03 PM

A good number of gateways are conducting business in the country without having Payment Systems Oversight (PSO) from the authorities concerned.

In recent time, it has been learnt that a huge sum of customers money have been stuck in gateways that were sent to buy products from different e-commerce companies.

According to information, it was disclosed that around 15 gateways are conducting business in the country; only five of them have PSO and rest of them are doing business illegally. Foster Payment Gateway is one of them. 

In a letter sent to the E-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (ECAB) on September 14, the e-commerce company Qcoom said that even after delivering the goods, the payment gateway company Foster has withheld at least Tk 620 crore. 

Foster Payment Gateway could not be reached after making several attempts. 

Bangladesh Bank spokesman Md Sirajul Islam told Bangladesh Post that, “Those organizations who did not take clearance before doing business, are not subject of the central bank. It is the responsibilities of those authorities who had allowed them to do business.” 

According to central bank’s information, Foster Payment Gateway is a sister concern of Dot Lines Company. The Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) had objected to Bangladesh Bank not to issue licences to Foster in February.  

Meanwhile, a writ petition has been filed in the High Court seeking court order in  returning the customers money that has been stuck in the payment gateway. The money was sent for buying goods at different e-commerce companies. Barrister Sabrina Jerin filed the lawsuit on Sunday last on behalf of Conscious Consumers Society (CCS). 

In the writ petition, the persons and organisations concerned including Bangladesh Bank, Secretary, the Ministry of Commerce, bkash and Nagad authorities have been made defendants. The High Court bench headed by Mojibur Rahman Miah likely to hear the appeal this week. 

Earlier on October 16, CCS had sent legal notices to seven institutions including Bangladesh Bank and the Ministry of Commerce. 

At present, in e-commerce, when someone orders a product, his money gets stuck in the payment gateway. Subject to submission of the certificate after the delivery of the product, the company receives the amount.

On June 30, the payment system department of Bangladesh Bank introduced this system. However, even if the customers do not receive the product, they do not get the money back without the permission of the e-commerce company. Hundreds of crores of taka of the customers are already stuck in the gateway.

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