Inclusive Growth through Branchless Banking: A Review of Agent Banking and its Impact

Rezwan Mahmood


Branchless banking, the use of alternative delivery channels such as mobile banking and agent banking, is becoming increasingly popular among commercial banks in many developing countries. Branchless banking is believed to increase the use of financial services among financially excluded adults and is therefore becoming an increasingly popular phenomenon in many developing countries. Several countries adopted the concept of agent banking and getting huge success in the area of financial inclusion e.g. Kenya, Colombia, Brazil, Pakistan, Peru and so on. Post-Independence, the main concerns for Bangladesh has been its economic growth, poverty as well as food safety. We have achieved satisfactory growth over the last one decade. However one challenge is growth needs to be inclusive that is equally distributed among all sections of the society.  Financial inclusion plays a critical role in achieving inclusive growth of a country. The study is therefore attempt to assess the contribution of branchless banking in inclusive growth in different countries. Further this paper sets out to try exploring the opportunities with branchless banking as a way to overcome barriers to financial access in Bangladesh. This would help to find out new opportunities for inclusive growth of Bangladesh.

Keywords: Agent banking, Bangladesh, Inclusive growth, Financial inclusion, Banks.

JEL Classification: G20, G21.

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