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BD Post Desk
The expansion of global banking in South Asia is being led by Bangladesh. With a rise of mobile accounts from 3pc in 2014 to 21pc in 2017, Bangladesh is in an advanced position among developing nations.
The observation was made in recently published Global Findex 2017, a World Bank database focusing on how adults save, borrow and make payments.
For its role in expansion of mobile banking sector, Bangladesh Bank also received ‘Alliance for Financial Inclusion Policy Award’.
According to the latest information, the number of registered mobile banking clients is more than 60 million; and of them, over 20 million are active users.
The daily transaction amount of these subscribers stands around Tk 110 million while the number of (mobile banking) agents is 8,04,610.
According to Global Findex, Sub-Saharan African countries have also seen a notable expansion in mobile banking facilities. Against 2 per cent mobile banking accounts worldwide, the rate stands at 12 per cent in sub-Saharan countries.
World Bank has been publishing the Global Findex report since 2011. For this purpose, the bank carries out a survey on more than 150,000 people from more than 140 countries.
World Bank report says that the percentage of people using digital mediums for monetary transactions has increased from 42pc in 2014 to 52pc in 2018.
According to July 2018 issue of Bangladesh Bank review, mobile phone usage brought a large number of people without banking services within financial facilities, adding impetus to the rural economy.
Mentionable, the central bank, in 2010, gave permission for mobile banking to bring the underprivileged under mobile banking facility. The service began the following year with a full-fledged policy guideline.
In Bangladesh, mobile banking service is bank-based. Phone operators getting into agreement with banks provide the service. Of the 57 banks in the country, 29 have mobile banking approval. Though Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited began the service, the current market is led by BRAC Bank sister organisation, bkash.
Dr Atiur Rahman joined the Bangladesh Bank as governor in 2009 and began working to take financial services to people outside the purview of conventional banking services. During his tenure, farmers got the chance to open an account for Tk 10.
Talking on the matter, Dr Atiur Rahman told a news agency: “The initiative was taken as part of social responsibility and the Bangladesh government played a pivotal role.”
Now Bangladesh is a role model in financial inclusion, he added.