Banks fast embracing cash recycling machines
Banks are aggressively installing cash recycling machines (CRMs) to provide faster deposit and cash withdrawal services to clients, a move that is helping customers cut reliance on branches and giving them more freedom to carry out banking. The CRMs are set to make cash deposit machines (CDMs) obsolete, which only allow injecting cash, and replace automated teller machines (ATMs), which permit fund withdrawal, said several bankers.A CRM accepts cash, counts the notes, authenticates them, and credits the amount to accounts on a real-time basis, helping banks do away with the manual labour needed to provide the service. The new technology is also allowing users to deposit and transfer cash in others’ accounts. In Bangladesh, banks started setting up CRMs in 2017. Until June 30 last year, the number of machines was 272, data from the Bangladesh Bank showed. Since then, more than 550 CRMS have been installed.Today, all the banks have more than 800 CRMs combined, and these machines account for more than Tk 2,300 crore transaction every month. Total transactions through CRMs grew more than nine times to Tk 2,325 crore in March from Tk 245 crore in the same month last year. Compared to February this year, transactions grew 41 per cent.Banks have to invest a sizeable amount in deploying CRMs: they have to count between Tk 13 lakh and Tk 18 lakh per CRM. It is Tk 5 lakh per ATM. The central bank plans to take the technology one step further by ensuring interoperability. A central banker said depositing money through the tool would be interoperable within the next three months as the BB has taken measures to this end.
Three banks post higher profits
Three private banks posted higher earnings for the January-March quarter compared to the same period a year ago with NRB Commercial Bank registering the highest growth in profits.The newly listed private bank’s earnings per share shot up 54 per cent year-on-year to Tk 0.44 from Tk 0.28 during the January-March quarter of 2020. Stocks of NRB Commercial rose 10 per cent to Tk 30.8 at the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) while shares of Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL), one of the largest banks in terms of deposits, fell even though the lender posted higher unaudited earnings for the January-March quarter.DBBL’s earnings per share posted 20 per cent growth year-on-year to stand at Tk 1.65 for the period. The lender closed at nearly two per cent lower at Tk 59 yesterday. Exim Bank fell seven per cent from the previous day’s closing value to hit Tk 11.9. The bank said its profits grew 25 per cent to Tk 0.05 per share in the January-March period this year compared to a year ago. DSEX, the benchmark index of the DSE, fell 25.47 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 5,788. The bourse’s turnover, another important indicator of the market, slumped 10 per cent to Tk 1,486 crore.
Banking hours extended by half an hour
The central bank yesterday extended banking hours in line with the easing of coronavirus-linked lockdown rules, giving more time to customers to carry out financial transactions. Clients can secure banking services from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm from today to May 30 from branches, according to a notice of the Bangladesh Bank.Branches will remain open until 4:00 pm to complete their regular procedures. Until yesterday, banks allowed customers to do banking from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Before the pandemic, branches were open to customers from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The central bank took the decision after the government extended the nationwide restrictions on public movement by another week to May 30 to curb the second wave of Covid-19.
Southeast Bank Launches Islamic, conventional agent banking outlets
Southeast Bank Limited launched four agent banking outlets for the unbanked people across the country specially at the rural and semi-urban area, said a statement. Southeast Bank formally launched three Tijarah-Islamic Agent Banking outlets at South BallavpurRastarMatha, Chagalnaiya, Feni; Champak Nagar Bazar Main Road, Chagalnaiya, Feni; Goramara, Kumira, Chattogram and one Conventional agent banking outlet at Chowmuhani Bazar, Fatikchori, Chattogram. Its main objective is to uphold the trend of financial inclusion and spread banking services at every corner of the country.