As of September 30, the number of agent banking accounts stood at 2,028,864, up from 1,777,400 registered at the end of June, increasing a staggering 251,465 accounts in July-September period
Agent banking is gaining popularity in the country, as the number of such banking accounts has increased 14.15% to 2,028,864 in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, according to Bangladesh Bank (BB) data.
As of September 30, the number of agent banking accounts stood at 2,028,864, up from 1,777,400 registered at the end of June, increasing a staggering 251,465 accounts in July-September period.
Agent banking is getting popular since its operation nearly two years back. The model has been widening significantly almost every quarter for an initiative of banks to bring in an alternative to branch-based banking, bankers said.
The central bank issued an agent banking guidelines in 2013 but the licensees started full-fledged operations in 2016. Agent banking offers limited banking and financial services to the underserved population through village variety stores. The owner of an outlet conducts the banking transactions on behalf of a bank.
Agents provide services such as cash deposits, withdrawals, remittance disbursement, small value loan disbursement and recovery of loans, and cash payments under the government’s social safety net programmes.
As of September 30, a total of 18 banks are providing agent banking services. The number of agents is 3,902 and outlets 5,791, said the latest BB data.
Md Arfan Ali, managing director of Bank Asia told the Dhaka Tribune, “We want to reach our banking service to the every rural area. We have started the new product of Agent banking. Now others are following suit.”
“The agent banking service creates a win-win situation for the banks, agents and customers, since all of them are getting a good outcome from the business”, he added.
The banks that are providing agent banking services are: Dutch-Bangla, Bank Asia, Al-Arafah Islami, Social Islami, Modhumoti, Mutual Trust, NRB Commercial, Standard, Agrani, Midland, First Security Islami, City, Islami Bank Bangladesh, premier, UCB, AB, NRB & BRAC Bank. l