Agent banking is gaining more popularity across the country as over 57 lakh accounts were opened and over Taka 7,750 crore was deposited till January 2020, reports BSS.
According to the latest data of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the number of accounts with agents increased to 57,35,027 at the end of January this year from 26,13,335 at the end of same month of the preceding year 2019.
At the end of January this year, the number of agents increased to 8,118 from 5,193 in January 2019 and the number of bank agent outlets also increased to 11,550 from 7,278 in the same period.
Deposit collection through agent banking was Taka 7,750.7 crore at the end of January 2020, which was Taka 3,209.4 crore in January 2019. Among the deposit, Taka 1,997.1 crore was collected in the urban area while Taka 5,753.7 crore collected at rural area.
Agent banking has been introduced in Bangladesh in 2013 through a guideline issued by Bangladesh Bank. The purpose of introducing Agent Banking is to provide a safe and secured alternative delivery channel for banking services to the under-privileged, under-served population, who generally live in a geographically remote location and beyond the reach of the traditional banking network.
This has allowed the banks to expand their business and accelerate financial inclusion using intermediaries as agents. The Agent Banking is playing an important role in bringing the hard-earned money of the nonresident Bangladeshis at arm’s length of their close ones.
A total of 21 commercial banks are running their activities across the country. The commercial 21 banks, which are currently running agent banking activities, are Dutch Bangla Bank, Bank Asia, Al-Arafah Islami Bank, Social Islami Bank, Modhumoti Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, NRB Commercial Bank, Standard Bank, One Bank, First Security Islami Bank, Mid Land Bank, The City Bank,Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, The Premier Bank, United Commercial Bank Limited, AB Bank, NRB Bank, Brac Bank, Agrani Bank, Mercantile Bank and Eastern Bank.