staff reporter, Dhaka : BRAC Bank has achieved the 800th Agent Banking Outlets milestone as the rapid network expansion drive across Bangladesh continues.
Nazmur Rahim, Head of Alternate Banking Channels, formally inaugurated the 800th Agent Banking Outlet at Kaziganj Bazar in Hobiganj on September 26, 2022. Md. Nazmul Hasan, Head of Agent Banking, local dignitaries and senior officials of the bank were present at the inaugural ceremony.
The rapidly expanding alternate banking channel now serves 2.10 lakh unbanked people, mostly in rural and semi-urban parts of the country, as the channel’s rural penetration hits the industry’s highest at 77%. Agent Banking Channel carries over 222,500 transactions worth over BDT 2,000 crore per month.
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 October 2018. The channel has already reached 64 districts. The AB Outlet tally is expected to reach 1,000 by December 2022 as the bank aims to emerge as the key contributor in the Agent Banking space to serve the unbanked people in the country’s remote areas.
‘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 373 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 is enabling in bringing in a large population who are presently 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.”