AML/CFT Regulations for Mobile Financial Services (MFS): Policy Options for Bangladesh

Bangladesh is playing a flagship role in leveraging mobile financial services to provide access to formal financial services to vulnerable segments of the society such as the rural poor, women and Forcibly Displaced Persons (FDPs). As of June 2018, there are more than 800,000 agents, with 6.5 million daily transactions in volume and $131 million in daily value. However, like many other countries, Bangladesh is also experiencing misuse of Mobile Financial Services (MFS) for criminal purposes that can deter broader financial inclusion. Early detection of potential risks and vulnerabilities are essential for timely intervention.

As a result, the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) formed a focus group with participation from regulators, government agencies and service providers, which developed the study paper, AML/CFT Regulations for Mobile Money: Policy Options for Bangladesh that identifies Money Laundering (ML)/Terrorist Financing (TF) risks in Bangladesh, and suggests policy recommendations to promote an effective and sustainable supervisory regime for MFS.