Agent banking activities have started to pay dividends for banks which collected Tk 1,017.88 crore in deposits through the channel in the first three months of this year.
According to a Bangladesh Bank quarterly report on agent banking, deposit collection through agent banking increased by 13.54 per cent to Tk 8,535.04 crore at the end of March this year from Tk 7,517.16 crore three months ago.
In terms of deposit collection, Islami Bank Bangladesh held the highest 25.3 per cent, DutchBangla Bank 20.53 per cent, AlArafah Islami Bank 18.79 per cent, Bank Asia 17.99 per cent and Agrani Bank 3.51 per cent market shares of the agent banking deposits.
The deposits in the agent banking accounts were growing fast due to expansion of the service in rural areas where people were deprived of banking services, officials of the banks said.
The report showed that the number of agent banking outlets increased by 4.9 per cent to 11,875 in March this year from 11,320 three months ago.
The number of agent banking outlets also in creased by 5.14 per cent to 8,260 in March from 7,856 in December, 2019.
The service is also providing the unbanked population of the country with quick and cost-effective banking services at their doorsteps, the bankers said.
They said that alongside ensuring convenience for the rural people, agent banking had created ample scope for the banks to bring money into the formal banking channel which was previously transacted outside the banking channel.
To explore the scope, the banks’ interest in agent banking has increased in recent times.
The number of agent banking licencees has increased to 26 this year from 21 a year ago.
Of the licencees, 22 banks are actively operating agent banking services and many of them are expanding their networks with the adoption of new technologies.
Loan disbursement through agent banking has increased by 51.1 per cent to Tk 673.91 crore at the end of March this year from Tk 446 crore three months ago.
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