According to the Bangladesh Bank, deposit collection through agent banking increased by 13.54% at the end of March 2020 from the previous three months. The number of agent banking accounts also rose by 23.33 percent in the same period.
As reported by The Independent, the number of female accounts also increased by 28.65%.
This increase in the number of account holders is good news for anyone who wants to send money to Bangladesh, making it even easier for your recipients to receive money. The increase in bank accounts provides both sender and beneficiary with additional digital options.
Rural living and money transfer to Bangladesh
Bangladesh is a country in which, according to The Financial Express, approximately 41% of the workforce is involved in the agricultural sector. The majority of these people live in rural areas without local access to banks. Many of our customers at Small World send money to friends and family living in these areas.
Further, banks in Bangladesh are only allowed to open a maximum of ten branches every year. Naturally this means that banks tend to be located in cities where there is the highest population density.
The growing number of agent bank accounts is making such a huge difference to rural communiities, providing financial inclusion for a rural population who have traditionally been deprived of banking services.
How does agent banking support global money transfer?
Agent banking was introduced to Bangladesh in 2014 and allows commercial banks to offer their services via a series of ‘agents’.
These agents, often working from smaller premises, can operate in the rural regions that have not been covered by the traditional banks. They are able to offer a number of crucial services including:
- Cash deposit
- Cash withdrawal
- Balance inquiry
- Utility bill payment
- Cash pick up (most important for Small World customers) international money transfer.
These quick and effective services are no longer limited to Bangladesh’s urban population, and it’s easy to see how they have led to a growing number of bank accounts in the country.
How can my beneficiary access agent banking in Bangladesh?
The agent network will require a simple registration process, and these will vary from one bank to another. Here is a list of typical requirements for account set up from one of Small World’s partners, Dutch-Bangla Bank:
- NID/Any Photo id card
- Two copies of passport size photograph
- One copy of your nominee's passport size photograph
Your beneficiary must then fill out a form to open their agent bank account.
How will this help money transfer to Bangladesh?
This increase in agent accounts also brings additional benefits for the country. With more of the population using official agents, money can now be brought into the formal banking channels which would previously have been unregulated.
So what does this mean for money transfer to Bangladesh? In short, it’s good news… the growing number of accounts means more options for more people.
Physical cash pick-up is still our most popular service in Bangladesh. If your recipient lives in a rural area and has an agent bank account, this will cut down on their travelling time and provide them much faster access to their money.
Once your money has been sent, they will be able to collect it from any relevant agent across the country.
The need for social distancing and general changes in habit brought upon as all by the Covid-19 means that many people are also embracing digital banking for the first time.
These bank accounts also help you, the sender. As a result of your recipient having one, you are able to send money to them digitally via our website, app or over the phone with the help of one of our call centre operators.
Additionally, through their agent accounts, your beneficiaries will be able to access digital services such as checking their balance and paying their bills.
How is money transfer helping the rise in accounts?
There is another upside. By sending your money via an official provider means to these agent banks you are helping bring these funds into Bangladesh banking channels, rather than the black market.
With a greater amount of money sent in this way, it will only encourage even more people to open up new accounts, helping to bring new services and make life easier for such a large proportion of Bangladesh’s population.
The most popular ways to send money to Bangladesh
Our main partners in Bangladesh are Janata Bank, Agrani Bank, Uttara Bank, National Bank, Dutch-Bangla Bank, Islami Bank Bangladesh, Rupali Bank, Social Islami Bank, Bank Asia, Southeast Bank, Union Bank, SBAC Bank, Al-Arafah Islami Bank, Bank Asia.