Million Shopkeepers Using TallyKhata App for Records and Payments

Buying daily essentials from the local Rahim Store is a routine for many. Even when I am not at home, a message on WhatsApp or a phone call ensures the products are delivered to my doorstep. I usually make a lump-sum payment when I have the chance. Two years ago, I received an SMS – “Today’s purchase 320 BDT, total due 1170 BDT – Rahim Store.” The message was from the TallyKhata app.

Curious, I asked Rahim about it. He explained that he now uses an app called TallyKhata. Gone are the days of maintaining lengthy account books. Managing his business has become much simpler. He no longer needs to reconcile accounts with customers at the end of the month, maintaining good relationships. The app allows him to keep track of all transactions and view business income and expenses on a dashboard. This was my first introduction to the TallyKhata app. A quick Google search revealed that TallyKhata is a popular app among shopkeepers in Bangladesh. 

To learn more, I spoke with Dr. Shahadat Khan, the CEO of TallyKhata. Dr. Khan says, “There are numerous apps for general consumers and end customers. Large businesses use software to manage their operations. However, micro and small businesses in Bangladesh were missing out on the benefits of digitalization. We wanted to fill this gap and developed the TallyKhata app.”

The app was launched in 2020 during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic. It received widespread adoption among shops and small businesses in the country, and now it has more than a million monthly active users.


Simplified Business Accounting

TallyKhata is a simple app in the Bangla language. Through this app, a small business owner can easily manage necessary accounts. They can add their customers and suppliers one by one. The app offers two options for recording transactions: Pelam (“received”) and Dilam (“given”). To ensure ease of use for all types of users, accounting terms like debit or credit are not used. A transaction can be entered within three to ten seconds. 

A small business owner can easily get an overall view of their business through the TallyKhata dashboard. The total receivables, payables, and income and expense statements are all visible at a glance.


Accepting Digital Payments from Customers

In addition to keeping business accounts, TallyKhata provides digital wallets for business owners. Each shop is given a QR code. Using this code, customers can easily make payments from any bank or mobile banking app in Bangladesh.

TallyKhata operates under the Bangladesh Bank’s Payment Service Provider license. As part of the Bangladesh Bank’s Cashless Bangladesh initiative, TallyKhata introduced Bangla QR among its users. Bangla QR is a groundbreaking innovation by Bangladesh Bank. It allows a shopkeeper to accept payments from any banking or mobile banking app in Bangladesh using a single QR code. In the smartphone era, QR codes can facilitate widespread and low-cost digital payment adoption nationwide.

A shopkeeper can apply for a digital wallet and QR code through the TallyKhata app. The digital wallet is opened through a digital process using electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC). The business owner’s national ID, a selfie, the shop’s location, and photos are collected and verified. Using the TallyKhata platform, shopkeepers across the country are obtaining QR codes, and in most cases, they download, print, and attach the QR codes to their shops themselves, starting to accept digital payments.


Comprehensive Banking and Financial Services Opportunities

TallyKhata is the largest digital platform for micro and small businesses in Bangladesh. Business owners regularly record transactions and accept digital payments here. Millions of business owners have completed electronic KYC on this platform. It is the largest active database of Bangladeshi shopkeepers and micro-businesses.

We know that a significant portion of our micro-businesses lack banking facilities. High cost of customer acquisition and product distribution, and information asymmetry and lack of client data are the main barriers for financial inclusion of micro and small businesses in the country. TallyKhata aims to help banks address these issues using modern eKYC, big data, and credit scoring technologies. It is working with various banks and financial institutions in Bangladesh to deliver comprehensive banking services to these shopkeepers and small business owners. This platform can provide modern banking services to millions of small businesses at a low cost through digital means. Over time, it will offer deposit or savings schemes, open bank accounts, debit cards, alternative credit scoring, working capital loans, and credit card services.


Digitizing the Informal Sector for Cashless and Smart Bangladesh

TallyKhata is not just an app for keeping business accounts and accepting payments; it allows communication with 1 million shopkeepers across the country at any time. It has been observed that TallyKhata is more popular among rural and marginal shopkeepers than in big cities. This is enhancing their digital capabilities, creating a vast network of communication among business owners, and facilitating the exchange of useful and necessary information. 

Through targeted messaging, they are encouraged to adopt digital payments, and in the future, it will be possible to provide all types of digital banking and information services.

There are over ten million micro and small businesses in the country. They are the main part of Bangladesh’s informal sector. These businesses contribute 28% to Bangladesh’s GDP and provide 80% of employment outside the agricultural sector.

The government is working towards a Smart Bangladesh by 2041. Bringing the vast community of micro and small business owners in the informal sector under the scope of digital services is essential for realizing a Cashless and Smart Bangladesh. Digital platforms like TallyKhata can play a significant role in this endeavor.


About the Company Behind TallyKhata

TallyKhata and TallyPay services are developed and managed by Progoti Systems Limited. PSL is a financial technology (FinTech) company in Bangladesh that focuses on digital financial services, data technology and the digitalization of the informal sector. Earlier PSL has implemented the largest digital payment disbursement project in the country using SureCash mobile financial services where 10 million families received stipend money directly on their mobile phones. 

Dr. Shahadat Khan is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the company. Dr. Khan was a faculty member at BUET Computer Science and Engineering department. After completing his PhD in Canada and working there for many years, he returned to Bangladesh with a desire to contribute to the country’s digitalization. The company operates with direct foreign investment (FDI). Reputable venture capital firms from Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada are investing in this venture, including Strategic Business Innovator (SBI) Group from Japan and Standard Chartered Bank Ventures from Singapore.