Bank Asia started Agent banking services in Bangladesh on January 17, 2014. Since then, many more banks have launched this service. Arfan Ali, Managing Director, Bank Asia, has been involved with Agent Banking since its inception. He talked about different aspects of this service. He said, banking agents will be the game changer.
Md. Arfan Ali Said, “We requested Bangladesh Bank to launch this service in 2013. Many countries already have this service. However, our type of service is a bit different. Because other countries provide service of petrol pumps, mobile recharge centers. But here, agents in Bangladesh are only providing banking services.
However, he added that the main challenge, in the beginning, was to gain the trust of the customers; for example, someone deposited BDT 500 in the morning and picked it up again in the afternoon to check the accuracy. But after gaining their trust, it has spread all over the country. Mr. Arfan Ali further said that “I am optimistic that the agents will be the game changers in providing financial services to the country in the future.
In terms of Women’s service, out of 1 crore 26 lakh accounts of agent banking, 48 percent are for women. And among 4.5 million accounts in Bank Asia, 61 percent are women. For the first time, 95 percent of female customers are availing of financial services. Allowances are being given to 18 lakh beneficiaries under the social security fence through agent banking services.
Data explains that there have been two lakh bankers in the country since independence. However, more than 50,000 people in the country provide banking services through agent banking. As a result, an entrepreneurial segment has developed out of those who have become agents. As the workforce supplied by banking services increases, financial knowledge will spread among the people. The unprivileged people of the country will also get the benefit of this.
Mr. Arfan Ali confirms that the text message goes to the customer’s mobile immediately when the money is deposited. Hence, there is nothing to worry about the money.
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