Staff reporter, Dhaka : BRAC Bank has achieved the 1,000 Agent Banking Outlet milestone as the rapid network expansion drive across Bangladesh continues for the financial inclusion of the unbanked people.
Launching of Shah Ali Agent Banking Outlet in Mirpur 1, Dhaka marked 1,000th milestone for BRAC Bank. Nazmur Rahim, Head of Alternate Banking Channels, BRAC Bank, formally inaugurated the outlet. Md. Nazmul Hasan, Head of Agent Banking, was present.
The rapidly expanding alternate banking channel now serves 2.50 lakh unbanked people, mostly in rural and semi-urban parts of the country. The channel’s rural penetration hits the industry’s highest at 77%. The channel carries out 350,000 transactions worth BDT 2,000 crore per month. Agent Banking Outlets have also catered to over 100,000 inward foreign remittance disbursements in 2022. In 2022, more than BDT 4,700 crore SME loan was disbursed through 75,000 transactions. The channel handled BDT 950 crore corporate bill collection. Over 40% of total transactions through Agent Banking took place beyond conventional banking hours and on weekends & holidays.
From account-opening to cash withdrawal, loan to EMI payment, remittance service, and utility bill payment – Agent Banking Outlets are now the place to go for the local people for any day-to-day banking. The customers can also avail of any account opening through eKYC, including DPS and FDR, daily transactions, transfer funds, corporate bill collection, credit card bills, foreign remittance disbursement, payments of insurance premiums, SME loan disbursement & repayment collection, and retail loans lead generation many more services.
BRAC Bank has been expanding this alternate banking channel quickly since entering into the Agent Banking business in 2018. The channel has already reached 419 upazilas in all 64 districts.
‘Agent App’ enables the agents/agents’ staff to take banking beyond the AB Outlet and provide service at customer doorsteps who cannot visit outlets and outlets that can offer banking services beyond the banking hour even on holidays considering customer demand. This unique facility gives BRAC Bank an edge over others in the industry. Customer deposit is reflected in respective accounts in real-time, and it can be accessed from 330 ATMs, 187 branches, and through Online Banking ‘Astha App’. The customers originally opening an account through the branch can avail service at any Agent Banking Outlet by completing simple biometric verification formalities.
Commenting on the milestone, BRAC Bank’s Managing Director and CEO Selim R. F. Hussain said: “The vision of BRAC Bank is to bring the unbanked under the formal financial umbrella. Through this inclusive banking model, Agent Banking enables bringing in a large population out of formal banking services. The channel creates new employment opportunities and significantly uplifts the economy, especially in rural areas. We look forward to expanding the network in the coming years to cover the nook and corner of the country.”