The story of e-commerce in Bangladesh is one of rapid transformation and growth, particularly evident in the last five years. This journey, however, is rooted in pivotal developments that have shaped the digital commerce landscape of the country.

Early Milestones: Paving the Way for Digital Commerce

The foundational steps for this digital journey were laid in 2009 when the Bangladesh Bank approved online payment systems. This regulatory shift marked the beginning of a new era in digital transactions, opening up possibilities for e-commerce platforms and consumers alike.

In 2013, another significant milestone was achieved. The Bangladesh Bank approved the use of debit and credit cards for online payments, further facilitating the ease of digital transactions and bolstering consumer confidence in e-commerce platforms.

A Five-Year Surge: Remarkable Growth in Digital Payments

While the foundations were laid a decade earlier, the most striking growth in e-commerce in Bangladesh has been observed in the last five years:

2019: Marked a strong year with digital payment transactions amounting to 23,557.71 million BDT.

2020: Witnessed a surge to 51,422.36 million BDT, fueled by the pandemic’s push towards digital platforms.

2021: Saw the growth double to 102,148.98 million BDT, a testament to the increasing reliance on online shopping.

2022: Continued the upward trend with transaction volumes reaching 119,233.56 million BDT.

2023: Broke all previous records, soaring to an unprecedented 160,989.35 million BDT in digital payments.

Understanding the Growth Dynamics

This exponential growth in digital payments, especially in the last five years, reflects a broader trend of digitalization in Bangladesh. It signifies a shift in consumer behavior, with a growing preference for the convenience, safety, and efficiency of digital transactions over traditional cash dealings.

Looking Ahead: The Future of E-Commerce in Bangladesh

As Bangladesh continues to embrace digital innovation, the future of e-commerce looks bright. With supportive regulatory frameworks, an active trade body, and a growing tech-savvy population, the country is poised for further advancements in the e-commerce sector.

In Conclusion

The journey of e-commerce in Bangladesh, marked by significant regulatory milestones and the recent five-year surge in digital payments, paints a picture of a rapidly evolving digital economy. From the approval of online payment systems in 2009 to the remarkable growth witnessed in recent years, Bangladesh’s e-commerce landscape is a testament to the country’s adaptability and forward-looking vision in the digital age.

Author: Asif Ahnaf

Finance Secretary, e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB)

CEO, BreakBite eBusiness