BB steps into new era of fund transfer
Dhaka, Feb 28: Bangladesh Bank (BB) has introduced Electronic Fund Transfer Network (EFTN) among 40 private commercial and state-owned banks and their country-wide branches in order to make financial transaction easier and faster. With the EFTN credit transfer initiatives, the central bank will provide the foundation for access to every banked and non-banked consumer as well as every business customer to facilitate electronic commerce, inward remittance and salary payment by least fees and shorter time.
BB governor Dr. Atiur Rahman formally inaugurated the EFTN at a function organised by the central bank at its’ headquarters in the city.
Terming the EFTN initiative a ‘milestone’ for the banking history in Bangladesh, the central bank governor said the network will have extensive reach by connecting, for the first time, between all of the banks in Bangladesh for electronic funds transfer.
He said the creation of the EFTN is the most critical component in the development of a modern payments system infrastructure.
“It is an electronic highway in digital banking. In the near future, I expect that all banks will begin processing electronic funds transfers on the network,” he said.
The BB governor also maintained that transaction volume on the network will grow slowly as banks would explain the benefits of electronic payments to their clients.
He said the education and marketing efforts are necessary to maximize all of the capabilities of the network will be significant but the long-term benefit to the people of Bangladesh will be immense.
“EFTN is an integral component in reaching the goal of a “Digital Bangladesh” for financial services,” said the governor.
During a power-point presentation, BB official Khandaker Ali Kamran Al Jahid said EFT debit transfer applications will be commence by next six months.
Under the EFT debit, bank clients could be able to pay utility bills, license fees and tax to the receiving bank clients simply by instructing the original bank where he or she owned an account, Kamran said.
He said the central bank earlier introduced Automated Cheque Processing System (ACPS) and the EFTN was the latest addition to the central bank’s initiative towards digital banking.
He said both the EFTN and ACPS projects were implemented by the central bank in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID). Over the past two years, a significant progress has been made in achieving the goals of the initiative, he said.
He said ACPS went live on 7 October 2010 and is currently clearing approximately 80,000 cheque images per day with an aggregate value of Tk 2,200 crore in the Normal cheque exchange and over 2,500 High Value cheques totaling Tk 1,700 crore in the High Value clearing cycle per day.
He said both the time and cost have been saved by the ACPS. He said average cost of a cheque is USD 1.25 globally while the cost of single use of ACPS is only 10 cents.
He said over 112 lakh cheques were processed under the ACPS system for a value of Tk 4,500 crore on 22 February 2011 till its’ introduction. All of the nation’s forty-eight bank are participating in ACPS.
The inaugural session was addressed by Nazrul Islam Khan, Project Director, Access to Information Program of the Prime Minister’s Office, Ziaul Hassan Siddiqui and Murshid Quli Khan, deputy governors of the central bank, John Gothard, contracts manager of the consulting agency Crown Agents, Nayeni Fernando, BACH project Implementation Manager, Asim Kumar Das Gupta, Project Director of BACPS and Chowdhury Muhidul Huq, project director of BEFTN, among others.