The central bank will allow non-bank entities to set up automated teller machines (ATMs) and point of sale (POS) terminals as it ramps up efforts to promote card-based transactions across the country. The move will help people in distant parts of the country to settle their transactions without going to banks as some private companies already have plans to install a large number of ATMs, said a Bangladesh Bank official. At present, only banks are allowed to set up ATM and POS, but they are now showing little interest in expanding the facilities given the high maintenance cost, additional manpower and high security measures.
The central bank has been working on the issue for long and has almost completed all relevant work to roll out the service. A guideline will be issued within the next couple of months, the BB official added. As per the central bank’s guideline, the non-bank entities will have to set up ATMs evenly between rural and urban areas but with a view to deepening financial inclusion, the BB official said.
In many countries, banks hardly provide ATM service as dedicated non-bank entities have taken up the responsibility. In Bangladesh, banks usually set up ATMs and POS terminals based on the number of customers in a given area, said an official of a private bank. “Most private banks do not have adequate number of branches in rural areas, let alone bother to take ATMs and POSs there.”
Besides, banks have to spend Tk 5-7 lakh to install an ATM and count a minimum of Tk 60,000 per month to maintain it, he said. “So, the growth of ATMs and POSs has been very slow. The situation though will change when non-bank entities will provide the services.”
Source: The Daily Star, 08.09.2019