MFS operators of Bangladesh

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The central bank has asked banks to ensure round-the-clock operations of their alternative delivery channels (ADCs) during the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha holidays in order to facilitate smooth transactions.

The ADCs include ATM (automated teller machine), POS (point of sale), e-payment gateway and mobile financial services (MFS), through which customers can access required financial services.

The Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, issued a directive in this regard on Sunday, asking the managing directors and chief executives of the scheduled banks for taking necessary measures to ensure smooth transactions during the Eid vacation.

Talking to the BBN, a BB senior official said the central bank has taken the measure to ensure smooth transactions using the ADCs during the Eid vacation.

He also said transactions using the digital channels, such as ATM, internet or online and mobile, normally increase significantly during the weekends and other holidays.

Currently, most of the banks are adopting modern technology and providing increased ADC facility to better serve the customers, as more clients are opting for these channels to save their time and cost.

The scheduled banks will remain closed from August 21 to August 25 on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Azha and weekly holidays.

In its directive, the central bank also asked the banks to beef up security measures at the ATM booths to avert any untoward incident.

The central bank of Bangladesh also instructed the banks to ensure all-time availability of cash at the ATM booths during the Eid vacation.

There are more than 9,500 ATM booths across the country, 5,500 of which, including Fast Tracks, are operated by Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) alone.

According to the BB directive, the banks must inform their clients of any transaction made through ATM or POS by sending SMS (short message service).

Meanwhile, cash money withdrawal from the banks before the Eid is decreasing, as the use of both credit and debit cards, also known as plastic money, is gradually increasing, according to the market insiders.

They also said the banks now see low demand for cash from their vaults ahead of the Eid festivals.

A large number of people are now using MFS, agent banking and e-banking for transactions, they added.

“These services have reduced the tendency to keep cash in their wallets,” a senior banker explained.

Currently, around 10 million debit cards and more than 0.90 million credit cards are being used in Bangladesh.

BBN/SSR/AD