Dewan Nazmul Hasan (Executive MS in Finance, ’22) is the CEO of Trust Axiata Pay (Tap), a digital financial services company based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Tap recently won an innovation award from the Bangladesh government for its work with rickshaw pullers, cyclists who pedal passengers in small, hooded vehicles around the city.
Rickshaw pullers are typically paid in cash, which means they face problems such as losing bills, having bills damaged by weather, not being able to make change, and losing track of payments. In a pilot project, Tap integrated 300 of these independent small-time merchants into the country’s banking system by assigning them personal digital accounts and scanners that enabled them to accept digital payments via QR codes that did not require the use of smartphones. The effort earned Tap a 2022 Bangladesh Innovation Award in the community engagement category.
“This project has the potential to be far reaching,” says Dewan, who accepted the award along with other executives from his company at a March 6 ceremony in Dhaka. “Mobile financial services are sorely needed in Bangladesh, where as much as half the population has never had a personal bank account. Tap gives them their very first opportunity to take advantage of banking services.”