BRAC Bank has crossed the milestone of opening the 630th agent banking outlet as a part of its rapid network expansion drive across the country.
BRAC Bank has already reached 63 districts after it started expanding this alternate banking channel at a fast pace since entering into the Agent Banking business in October 2018.
The outlet tally is expected to reach 700 by December 2021 and 1,200 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 remote areas of the country, reads a press release.
All services available in branches are also served at agent banking outlets, including account opening (DPS and FDR), transactions, transfer funds, foreign remittance, corporate bill collection, credit card bill, payments of insurance premiums, SME loan disbursement & repayment collection, retail loan lead generation and many more services.
The close proximity and variety of services these outlets have to offer have made them a centre point of financial solutions in rural Bangladesh.
BRAC Bank Agent Banking has the highest rural penetration with 77% of the AB Outlets located in rural areas.
As of September 2021, the bank on-boarded 1.18 lakh, unbanked people, through agent banking channels, mobilized Tk537 crore deposit, disbursed BDT 2,568 crore loan, received Tk5,000 crore loan repayment, processed Tk821 crore remittance and altogether handled transaction worth Tk18,474 crore.
"Agent App" enables the agents/agents' staffs to take banking beyond the AB Outlet and provide service at customer doorsteps who are unable to visit outlet and outlets are able to offer banking services beyond the banking hour even in holidays considering customer demand, a unique facility that gives BRAC Bank an edge over others in the industry. Customer deposit is reflected in respective account real-time and it can be accessed from 375 ATMs, 187 branches and also through Internet Banking Astha App. The customers originally opening an account through Branch can avail service at any Agent Banking Outlet by completing simple biometric verification formalities.
Commenting on the milestone, Selim RF Hussain, said: "The vision of BRAC Bank is to bring the unbanked segment of the people under formal financial umbrella. Agent Banking will play an enabling role in bringing in a large population who are presently out of formal banking services through this inclusive banking model."
"Our Agent Banking with biometric verification and digital capabilities will bring convenience to the people providing them with 24/7 banking anytime and anywhere. At the same time, we have strong control over the activities of all outlets through the system and physical monitoring from the compliance perspective to make the channel more secure. The Agent Banking service will create new employment opportunities and contribute significantly to uplifting the economy of the country, especially in the rural parts. We will aggressively expand the network in the coming years to cover the nook and corner of the country," he added
The impact of Agent Banking is evident in the remark of a valued agent partner who generated the highest business in the Chattogram Division.
Md Ashraf Uddin, Baroiyarhat AB Outlet, Mirsharai, said, "Agent Banking has changed the lives of many people of this locality. People now tend to make savings in a bank account rather than keeping the cash in their home as they are now convinced that saving in a bank is safe and brings in long term benefits. At my outlet, we not only provide regular banking service, but we also advise people on financial management. We are also capitalizing our system capabilities by offering financial services at customer doorstep using Agent App and offering banking services after the banking hour and even in holidays."