Dmoney Bangladesh: Steering Bangladesh Towards a Digital Lifestyle and Financial Services
The idea of Dmoney was formed when the founders sensed the strong opportunity for disruption in the Financial Services sector of Bangladesh. While the regulatory measures by the government and technological advancement are driving the shift from cash to digital in the country, there still remain barriers which make Bangladesh largely a cash-based economy. The cash payments frictions and the barriers in cash to digital transformation are a roadblock to the rapid growth of the country. It is with the aim to remove these barriers and contribute to a Digital Bangladesh, that Dmoney was conceived. The vision was to use technology to build a digital ecosystem and bring partners and stakeholders and consumers all on a single operating environment: The D Money Platform.
The vision behind the D Money Platform was to serve the citizens of Bangladesh digitally with Lifestyle and Financial Services: remove “cash payments frictions”, optimize transactions and solve the digital onboarding problems of the customers.
However, like every story, Dmoney’s success chronicle was no easy victory. Initially, obtaining the Payment Service Provider (PSP) license from the highly regulated Central Bank and establishing trust among the customers was quite challenging for the company. After long due diligence, audit, and vetting, the PSP license was granted to Dmoney in 2019. This license permits Dmoney to onboard customers, perform customer acquisition and verification, link with Banks and Cards and offer digital financial services to the customers under the guidance and regulation of the central bank.
Today, Dmoney is propelled to operate as a leading Financial Technology Service Provider in Bangladesh.
It was the distinct vision, belief, and passion of Dmoney’s Chairman Mr. Anjan Chowdhury and the Founders to lead Dmoney to the path of Digital Inclusion by addressing the needs of the underserved and underbanked.
The Visionary Leaders behind the Success
Dmoney was Co-Founded by Sonia Bashir Kabir and Aref Bashir both returnees from the Silicon Valley. Sonia Bashir Kabir is the Vice Chairman and Co-Founder of Dmoney Bangladesh Limited. After completing her Bachelor of Science and MBA degrees in the USA, Sonia began her career as a Tech Corporate Professional in Silicon Valley and her journey led her to become a Tech Entrepreneur to a Tech Investor.
In 2016, Sonia won the prestigious “Founders Award” given by Bill Gates to 10 handpicked Microsoft employees every year among its 100,000 employees. Sonia was also recognized as one of the 10 Sustainable Development Pioneers globally in 2017 by the United Nations Global Compact. She was featured in Times Square billboards in New York City. Filled with vigour and intention to contribute towards building a digital platform for her country, Sonia founded Dmoney.
“Digital inclusion (with payments as a common denominator) is a key to moving the status of a country from Least Developed Country (LDC) to the middle economy. However due to lack of education plus smartphone & connectivity penetration to the last mile, Dmoney is trying to crack the problem of inclusion by leveraging the demographic dividend ( 50% of the population is under the age of 35), density dividend (160m people live in 55,000 square miles) and homogeneity divided (Bangla is the only native language) Bangladesh offers. Dmoney believes in Tech for Good and is poised for impact,” asserts Sonia.
Sonia recently quit her job as Managing Director of Microsoft Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, and Laos to launch her own tech venture fund called SBK Tech Ventures. Sonia was handpicked by UN Secretary-General in 2016 to serve as a Board Member in United Nations Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries LDCs). Currently, Sonia serves as the Vice Chair of the UN Tech Bank. Last but not least in 2018, Sonia was invited to serve as the Governing Council Board member for UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development.
Aref Bashir leads Dmoney as the Managing Director and Co-Founder Board Member. He holds a B.S EE degree from the University of Maryland and an MBA specializing in Strategy and Management. After spending 15 years in Silicon Valley with Sun Microsystems in Senior Engineering Roles, Aref returned to Bangladesh to be a part of the Digital Bangladesh story. He Co-Founded Syntec a Technology company and worked with the Gates Foundation, Financial Services for Poor (FSP) Division in Financial Inclusion and Digital payments Adoption. This experience led to the genesis of Dmoney. Aref is a “Builder” at heart and serves as CTO of D Money and is the Architect behind the Dmoney’s strategy and vision. “Bangladesh is a large market that is underserved. Digital Lifestyle and Financial Services is the need of the hour. Dmoney aims to rise to the challenge and fulfill this demand. It will build, partner, and be the enabler and is committed to resolving the cash to Digital transformative barriers.” says Aref.
Under both Sonia and Aref’s leadership, Dmoney has gained recognition globally and forming game-changing partnerships. D Money aims to create a benchmark in digital financial services in Bangladesh.
Digitizing and Disrupting Financial Services.
Through its digital platform, Dmoney strives to optimize digital transaction, lower transaction costs, increase services and ease of use. Dmoney will be the first to launch Bangladesh Post Office’s Daak Taka wallet and Islami Wallet.
“With Dmoney we want to build an accessible digital platform that addresses Financial and Lifestyle Service needs and bring optimization and scale and ecosystem partnership benefits to customers. We want to “crack the difficult problems” and remove digitization frictions across the markets like Supply Chain, Health, Insurance, Remittance and Consumer-Merchant payments among others,” says Aref.
Dmoney Platform: Scalable and Highly Secure
One of the reasons why consumers are reluctant to swap the wallets in their pockets for the digital wallet is security-related concerns. High-profile data breaches have made buyers wary of sharing their credit card information. However, with Dmoney, there is no need to worry about security.
Dmoney has its own Software IP. Designed with customers and partners in mind, the extensible API-driven Dmoney platform is highly secure, robust, scalable and easy to use. It subscribes to the PCI-DSS and PA-DSS guidelines along with Bangladesh Bank regulatory guidelines for banks on IT and payments and security. Moreover, its internal controls & compliance teams thoroughly audit the platform at every stage to ensure customer security and trust is safeguarded. It is OWASP top 10 tested (A leading Security framework) and has real-time Data replication and backup. It also ensures end-to-end encryption with all sensitive data encrypted at rest and in transit.
Platform security, internal compliance, and robustness of the Dmoney platform are key areas of focus for Dmoney. We have a strong team of dedicated software engineers who have tirelessly built the Dmoney platform focusing on transaction stress tests per minute, cracking all possible problems of noncompliant transactions and providing a safe wallet for customers with layers of in-built security,” remarked Sonia.
Making Impact and being Customer-Centric
Besides being a safe, secure and reliable platform, it is the customer-centric approach which sets Dmoney apart. Dmoney believes in direct value creation for customers and thus aims to address the day to day digital lifestyle needs of the Bangladeshi consumer through its platform. By aiming to provide end to end digital lifestyle and financial services Dmoney intends to be the place where consumers find their needs addressed.
Dmoney believes Trust with customers is earned when they see we have their best interests at heart. Building a world-class product is the best way to prove this. Good communication and transparency are also key. Constantly talking with the customers, getting their feedback, and ensuring the product fits their needs is the Dmoney way.
One example is Top Up. While a feature found in many apps Dmoney can claim to be one of the friendliest and easiest to use with just a click or two. This was done with the customer in mind.
Going forward, Dmoney sees enormous opportunity in addressing the largely underserved market of Bangladesh. Digitization of Financial and Lifestyle Services – easing the payments frictions and on boarding journey, are key areas of Dmoney focus. A largely 95% cash economy is in need of transformation. A large population is in need of digital services. Dmoney sees its role as being very clear: in enabling the transformative journey and providing digital services.
Dmoney’s approach is Partnership and Ecosystem reliant – with a robust underlying Tech platform. The Founders speak of the “Dmoney Operating Environment” which serves to not only build the Digital ecosystem but enable stakeholders as well so that all can contribute towards the Digital Bangladesh vision.