Food delivery platform foodpanda Bangladesh has imposed a ‘platform fee’ of Tk 3 since August, payable on each order by the customer.

Social media posts and at least six clients The Daily Star spoke to raised questions about its rationality.

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“These fees are used to improve our technology and application platform so that you can have the best ordering experience,” read the notifications issued against the deliveries on the company’s app.

Neither its website nor its Facebook page mentions these fees.

Besides these “platform fees”, customers have to pay “delivery fees” for each order.

This newspaper was able to confirm that the company also charges food suppliers a registration fee and another amount on each order.

“Is foodpanda a charity? Upgrading technology and application platforms is foodpanda’s business. Like all technology companies, their business is always being updated and improved,” says Yousuf Zobayer, who claims to be one of the platform’s regulars. users.

“Why would they charge customers for doing the only thing that makes them money?” He asked.

This was echoed by SM Najer Hossain, Vice President of the Bangladesh Consumers Association.

“The explanation they give about using fees…they can easily recoup them on their investment. So why would they charge customers? It doesn’t make sense,” he said.

The fee is also earmarked for “support programs such as training our vendors, home chefs and riders, among others,” an emailed response from foodpanda Bangladesh’s communications department reads.

“Platform fees (sometimes referred to as service fees) … are typically reinvested into the platform to launch new product features and drive innovation and operational efficiency,” he added.

From November 2021, foodpanda Singapore also imposed a platform fee of S$0.29 for all orders.

The same has been done by some of its competitors in the country, including GrabFood Singapore.

The company operates in over 400 cities in 11 markets in Asia – Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Taiwan, Philippines, Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. It was acquired by Berlin-based Delivery Hero in late 2016.

Launched in 2013, foodpanda Bangladesh is operational in 64 districts according to its CEO. Its website says it has contracts with over 2,000 restaurants and employs over 1,000 people.