E-commerce cos to get payment after delivery of goods: ministry

June 25, 2021

The government on Thursday announced that e-commerce companies would get their payments after delivery of goods ordered by buyers.
The commerce ministry officials made the announcement following a meeting with leaders of the E-Commerce Association of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Bank officials held at the Secretariat in the city.
The government took the initiative to protect the interests of consumers amid an increasing number of allegations from customers that some e-commerce platforms were not delivering the products ordered even after taking advance payment for them.
The meeting, presided over by commerce secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh, also decided to develop a standard operating procedure for e-commerce businesses.
Recently, a Bangladesh Bank report found that the total liabilities to customers and merchants of e-commerce site Evaly stood at Tk 403.80 crore while its assets were worth only Tk 65.17 crore.
‘From now, the e-commerce platform will get payment after delivering their products to the consumers and the Bangladesh Bank will act as the payment gateway between sellers and buyers,’ commerce ministry additional secretary Hafizur Rahman told reporters after the meeting.
Payments made by the consumers to the e-commerce merchants will be held on the system of the Bangladesh Bank and the transactions will be completed only after getting delivery messages of the products.
Hafizur requested the consumers to pay the e-commerce merchants through debit and credit cards and mobile financial services, saying that in case of cash payment, there would be no scope to ensure the delivery of products.
‘E-commerce is now a booming sector and no unfair practice will be accepted in the sector,’ e-CAB president Shomi Kaiser told the reporters.
She said that SOP would be developed to ensure the rights of the consumers.
E-commerce marketplace Evaly, however, lauded the decision made by the commerce ministry.
‘We welcome the decision. Also, an SOP service will be developed through the Bangladesh Bank soon. So, payment is not made before the delivery of the product,’ Evaly chief executive Mohammad Rassel said in a press release.
Rassel said that there had been no e-commerce policy in Bangladesh so far and Evaly itself had been advocating for such a policy for a long time.
‘We believe that today’s decision is the first step in formulating that policy. We believe that this will benefit the entire ecosystem, including customers, merchants, and the marketplaces. Any regulatory decision will apply to everyone, not only Evaly,’ he added.
In the last couple of days, a number of banks, including BRAC Bank and Dhaka Bank have suspended payments using the banks’ cards to several ecommerce web sites.
Asked about the reason behind the suspension, BRAC Bank communications head and executive vice-president Ekram Kabir told New Age, ‘It was a strategic decision of the bank.’
Sources said that the banks made the decision as they found that it was risky to shop from the online platforms and considered it as their responsibility to save customers from such risky transactions using their cards.
Besides these two banks, The City Bank and LankaBangla Finance have also issued cautionary notices to their cardholders regarding shopping from online or e-commerce platforms using their cards and that the banks could not be held responsible in this regard.

-With New Age input

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