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11 e-commerce platforms have gotten their first ever UBIDs
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The government has finally launched an app to provide both social media-based and website-based e-commerce businesses with Unique Business IDs (UBIDs).
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Sunday inaugurated the app to help businesses officially register as e-commerce platforms — part of a greater initiative to monitor the sector following several scams last year.
“Despite several companies defrauding customers, many others have provided the precedent for sustainable business models, and with the UBID being launched, the e-commerce sector will be further standardized, overcoming the hurdles we had previously seen,” Munshi said at the inauguration.
He also assured that defrauded consumers of the sector will be refunded as soon as legal issues are resolved.
During the launching ceremony, a total of 11 e-commerce platforms were provided with their UBIDs.
Hafizur Rahman, chief of the Central Digital Commerce Cell at the Ministry of Commerce, told Dhaka Tribune that UBID registration is given after careful inspection of promotional campaigns, customer reviews on products and deliveries, and feedback posted by consumers online.
“Online platforms without UBID will not be allowed to operate. This will bring standardization to the industry and give consumers the power to differentiate between businesses that indulge in bad practices from those that are good,” he added.
“The use of AI, software and capacity enhancements will help regulatory bodies to identify absurd transaction patterns and alert authorities quickly if implemented properly. What takes weeks or even months for humans to analyze can be easier to process for AI which can identify discrepancies easily,” former BASIS President Syed Almas Kabir explained.
At the event, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Private Sector Development Advisor Salman F Rahman said that an inter-ministerial meeting will be held regarding the issue of easing the process of acquiring TINs, trade licenses, opening bank accounts and getting bank loans for the e-commerce sector.
UBID numbers can be obtained from the website mygov.bd, and according to the official site, the registration service will be provided within 30 days, free of cost, on providing some vital documents such as photos, relevant NIDs of the applicant, company chairman and other directors.
Also speaking at the event, State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak said the platform will help online businesses come under the law and if there is any complaint regarding any registered organization, it has to be settled through the Central Complaint Management System (CCMS).
In its attempts at standardization, the government is working through multiple ministries to introduce the CCMS, an interoperable transaction platform, as well as a Central Logistics Tracking Platform (CLTP).
The ICT Ministry, through a2i, has developed the software that was supposed to go through beta testing first and to be launched for everyone by March.
It is working to launch CCMS for settling grievances from February and the inter-operable transaction platform “Binimoy” from March through which money can be sent to any bank from any existing mobile financial service providers (MFS).
The ICT state minister had previously said that mobile financial service provider Bkash and 15 other banks have already signed up for the platform Binimoy, which will eventually automate credit rating, credit scoring in the future.
“It will help the digital payment ecosystem and future development and growth of e-commerce,” e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) Vice President Shahabuddin told Dhaka Tribune.
“CLTP/CTMS is a centralized effort to bring vendors, payment gateways, and delivery partners under one platform. If implemented, this will bring back a sense of control to the consumers of the sector who are facing huge trust issues in ordering online, and bring back discipline to the sector that has been plagued by rogue e-commerce platforms through accountability,” he added.
Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh and Shomi Kaiser, president of e-CAB, were also present at the event.
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