United Commercial Bank Ltd on Saturday launched mobile-based financial service styled ‘UCash,’ eying to expand its innovative banking service to unbanked population across the country.
With the launch of UCash, officials of the bank said, they have come with a set of innovative ideas, including profits on deposits, to compete in a “mature” market.
“We have always been introducing some demand-driven and market-driven banking services and launching of UCash service is the continuation of that effort,” said MA Hashem, UCB Chairman, who was the chief guest at the launching ceremony.
To ensure smooth, prompt and uninterrupted service across the country, Ucash has already appointed over 10,000 agents across the country to make available the new financial service, UCB officials said.
Initially the service of UCash will be available through ROBI and Airtel. It will be accessible through all the mobile networks very soon, they added.
UCash is currently providing mobile financial service facilities like money transfer, purchasing and money deposit.
The key feature of UCash is giving interest on deposits for the first time through mobile financial service. It would be a special one, as people will get interest on the money deposited by UCash service from the very first day, officials noted.
Among others, Vice-Chairman of UCB Sharif Zahir, Chairman of Executive Committee, Saifuzzaman Chowdhury, Chairman of Audit Committee Lt Gen (rtd) ATM Zahirul Alam, Directors MA Sabur, Md Jahangir Alam Khan and Md Tanvir Khan, and Managing Director Muhammed Ali, spoke on the occasion.
The central bank has introduced US dollar (USD) and Bangladesh Taka (BDT) swap arrangement through offshore banking units (OBUs) of the commercial banks, officials said.
Under the new arrangement, the banks are allowed to swap maximum $20 million from Bangladesh Bank (BB) against their BDT through their OBUs for maximum six months.
"We want to meet the growing demand for foreign currency for investment in Bangladesh through offering such facility to the banks," a BB senior official told the FE Monday.
He also said the central bank has already communicated with the banks about introduction of the USD-BDT swap facility.
"We may extend the tenure of the swap facility if necessary," the central banker explained.
The banks will receive interest on their invested BDT on the basis of reverse repo rate from Bangladesh Bank, while the banks will have to pay at the London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus 1.0 per cent interest to the central bank for the US-dollar amount, according to the arrangement.
"Large foreign currency borrowers including Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation and Biman Bangladesh Airlines may take advantage of the new arrangement through borrowing from local banks," another BB official noted.
The central bank has taken the latest move against the backdrop of healthy position of the country's foreign exchange reserve in the recent times.
The country's forex reserve rose to $16.89 billion Monday from $16.85 billion on the previous working day due mainly to higher growth of export earnings and lower import payment pressure in the recent times, according to the BB officials.
"We're able to settle more than five months' import bills with the existing forex reserve," another BB official said, adding that the reserve would increase gradually in the coming days.
The deposit and lending operations of OBUs are carried out entirely in foreign currencies.
The overseas banking operations at normal bank branches are done over separate counters, by maintaining separate offshore banking accounts.
Currently, 31 local and foreign commercial banks conduct OBU operations in Bangladesh.
News:The Financial Express/20-Nov-2013
In an endeavor to offer customers maximum utility from card products and services, Eastern Bank Limited (EBL) announced its association with MasterCard, a global payment system solutions provider.
The EBL-MasterCard tie up was formally announced at a press conference at a hotel in Dhaka.
Ali Reza Iftekhar, Managing Director and CEO, EBL, Hassan O. Rashid, Deputy Managing Director, M. Nazeem A. Choudhury, Head of Business, Consumer Banking of EBL, Ari Sarker, Division President, South Asia, MasterCard, and Ron Garrow, Chief Human Resources Officer, MasterCard were present.
With the alliance, the bank’s customers will now be able to enjoy a wide range of electronic payment products and services both locally and globally.
Speaking on the occasion, Ari Sarker, division president, South Asia, MasterCard said, “We are pleased to partner with Eastern Bank, one of the premier private commercial banks in Bangladesh.”
“Given the huge potential the Bangladesh market holds, we look forward to working closely with Eastern Bank on innovative programs that will expand the payments offerings available to local cardholders and extend safe and convenient payment solutions to the unbanked in Bangladesh,” he added.
EBL during last few years introduced a range of new card products and services which has led to the creation and expansion of alternate payment channels in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) signed a partnership agreement with Dutch-Bangla Bank (DBBL) on mobile banking at the head office of the BKB on Wednesday.
Under the agreement, 1024 branches of the BKB will provide mobile banking services to the un-banked people of the country such as account opening, cash deposit and cash withdrawal, said a oppress release.
The existing DBBL mobile banking customers will also be able to get services from any of the BKB branches.
Manjur Ahmed, DMD of BKB and Abul Kashem Md. Shirin, DMD of DBBL signed the agreement on behalf of their organisations.
Alauddin A. Majid, Chairman of BKB, Md. Abdus Salam, MD of BKB, KS Tabrez, MD of DBBL, Abul Kashem Khan, Head of Mobile Banking of DBBL and other senior officials from both the organisations were present during the signing ceremony.
News:The Daily Sun/07-Nov-2013
Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTBL) launched its first MTB bills payment booth and 24/7 ATMs booth at Panthapath in Dhaka recently.
SA Khaleque, former lawmaker and a customer of MTBL Panthapath branch, inaugurated the booths as chief guest, said a press release.