Kamal for making common platform to widen digital financial inclusion

‘There is a need to keep attention on the transaction and security aspects while the confidence level of the clients also need to be kept intact’

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal  on Thursdastressed on developing a common platform comprising the state-owned commercial banks, private banks and other institutions concerned to widen the coverage of digital financial inclusion in the country for further success in the sector.

“I want to see a common platform with the state owned banks, private banks and others and then the digital financial inclusion will be successful,” he said.

The finance minister was addressing a function virtually after inaugurating the digital transaction services between country’s one of the leading state-owned commercial banks, Agrani Bank Ltd, and country’s leading mobile financial service provider bKash.

This is for the first time Agrani Bank and bKash launched a two-way service (Agrani to bKash and bKash to Agrani money transaction).

Financial Institution Division Senior Secretary Md Ashadul Islam, Agrani Bank Chairman Dr Zaid Bakht and Bangladesh Bank Deputy Governor Ahmed Jamal spoke at the virtual Programme as the special guests.

Agrani Bank Ltd managing director and CEO Md Shams ul Islam, bKash chief executive officer Kamal Qadir and chief commercial officer Mizanur Rashid were also connected.

Speaking on the occasion, the finance minister said, “I believe, with this initiative between Agrani Bank and bKash, the digital financial service and inclusion in the country will move one step ahead.”

Since it is a new initiative, the Bangladesh Bank alongside the Financial Institution Division would have to stay alert for ensuring good governance, he suggested.

“The journey has just begun, from now on our efforts will continue so that this journey doesn’t lose the momentum. We’ll make successful this initiative through attaining the target,” Kamal said, hoping that more public and private sector banks would have to come forward and make a common platform to give the digital financial inclusion a boost.

Mentioning that the trust and confidence of the expatriates Bangladeshis has got a boost after the launching of the 2 percent cash incentive on remittance, the Finance Minister hoped that the inward remittance flow in this year is likely to reach $25 billion.

Terming this initiative as an excellent one, Senior Secretary of the Financial Institution Division Md Ashadul Islam said that such digital banking technology would keep the clients away from hassle and especially during this Covid-19 pandemic period, its urgency was felt deeply.

Saying that around one crore clients of the Agrani Bank would be benefitted from this service, he tended thanks to all concerned related to this initiative.

“There is a need to keep attention on the transaction and security aspects while the confidence level of the clients also need to be kept intact. The authorities concerned also need to ensure that no fraudulence and cyber crime can take place with this initiative,” he said.

Bangladesh Bank Deputy Governor Ahmed Jamal said that the main driving force of the 4th Industrial Revolution is technology and the financial sector should not be kept out of its purview. “This initiative will create vast scope for digital transactions and the authorities concerned should be more aware on security aspects,” he added.

Agrani Bank Ltd Chairman Dr Zaid Bakht said that this initiative is very significant as it has brought the confidence of the banking sector in the forefront.

He said despite many adversities and the Covid-19 pandemic, the Agrani Bank has received around Taka 3,500 crore remittances in July. “I hope this two-way digital integration will help to give a thrust to the growth of inward remittance and low-cost deposit,” he added.

Agrani Bank managing director and CEO Shams ul Islam said the countrywide around one crore clients of the Bank from 958 branches and 400 agent banking would be able to make transaction anytime as per their need through this initiative.

bKash CEO Kamal Qadir said this initiative has been made possible due to the time befitting regulations of the Bangladesh Bank, strong political will of the government and lastly sincere efforts of the Agrani Bank and bKash.

Any Agrani Bank client under this service would be able to make transaction round the clock using the bKash app in some phases with ease and comfort through incorporating the clients information while the clients would get Tk100 cash back in case of over Tk500 transaction.

Through the add money feature, any client can bring money to bKash account from his or her Agrani Bank account and thus could pay utility bills, make various kinds of payments, recharge mobiles, purchase tickets, send money or make cash outs.

Besides, through the transfer money feature, the clients can deposit the installments of DPS or loans, deposit money in their accounts.

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