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The Transition Benefit: From Cash to Mobile Financial Services in the Aponjon Initiative, Bangladesh

COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION
Md. Forhad Uddin, S.M. Atiqur Rahman
Dnet
USAID, FHI 360
June 30, 2015

This assessment was conducted to systematically understand the benefit of transitioning from cash to mobile financial services (MFS), under an mHealth initiative for expectant and new mothers (branded as Aponjon), which is run by Dnet in Bangladesh. The transition was made with an expectation of efficiency gains in Aponjon’s incentive payment system to Aponjon agents at the community level, which are provided to them for customer acquisitions that they make. The benefits identified included savings in time and cost, as well as a reduction in risk from incentive payments made from the head office to Aponjon agents. Analyzing the improvement in knowledge and usage of mobile financial services by Aponjon agents was integral part of the assessment.

The total annual volume of paid incentive was BDT 5.5 million (approximately US$70,500). The transition from cash to MFS is estimated to have saved a total of 41,333 work-hours (just under 20 full-time employees) at both the supply and demand side over the annual volume of transaction made. For each BDT 100 transaction, it is measured that the effort saved was 91.61% on the supply side and 67.02% on the demand side. The total benefit was measured at BDT 4.75 million (approximately US$60,900) for the total volume of transactions made in a year. The total investment required to transition to MFS from cash during the year was around BDT 2.64 million (approximately US$33,845), reflecting a savings of BDT 2.11 million (approximately US$27,000). Therefore, the monetary benefit (BOI) was 1.80 times higher than the investment made in one year.

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