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Village digital booths to ensure banking services in 90,000 villages

17 January, 2023

Source : The Business Standard

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

17 January, 2023 · · Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Village digital booths to ensure banking services in 90,000 villages

Village digital booths to ensure banking services in 90,000 villages

Aspire to Innovate’s (A2i) payment processing platform Ekpay and Zaytoon Business Solutions will be introducing village digital booths in about 90,000 villages of the country to bring marginalised people under banking and financial services.

People concerned said people in the villages will get services, including opening bank accounts, conducting transactions, stock market payments, etc, through these booths.

Besides, these booths will provide various facilities, including remittance withdrawal, card transactions, bill payments of various services and deposit-withdrawal of Mobile Financial Services (MFS) such as Bkash, and Rocket.

Moreover, allowances for social security programmes, bills related to educational institutions, telemedicine and e-ticketing can be transacted through the village digital booths. There are also plans to provide loans for people through the booths, they said.

Initially, some booths will be installed in 50 villages in Munshiganj as part of a pilot project. Within three years, all the villages in the country will have digital booths.

Ekpay and Zaytoon Business Solutions signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work jointly on the village digital booth project on Tuesday.

Project Director (Joint Secretary) of A2i Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir and Zaytoon Business Solutions Chairman Md Arfan Ali represented their respective organisations during the signing event.

Organisers said one booth will be set up in each village of the country to provide technology-based financial services to underprivileged people. Ekpay will provide technical and overall support in this project. Around 35 financial institutions in the country have already contracted to provide services through the project.

At the event, Md Arfan Ali, chairman of Zaytoon Business Solution, said, “Village digital booths will be installed like cash-in and cash-out points in developed countries. These booths will play a special role in creating a smart Bangladesh. Currently, 57% of the country’s population above 15 years of age has bank accounts. The remaining 43% are still outside the banking channel.”

He added that banks that want to give loans to villages will be able to do so through these booths.

Md Arfan Ali said that in 2010, digital centres were established in the unions of the country and that project has been successful. The village digital booth project has been initiated in light of that success.

He further said a local entrepreneur under the overall supervision of Zaytoon Business Solutions will run a village digital booth. The entrepreneur must have an HSC-level education and he or she must be a permanent resident of the respective village.

Akber Hossain, managing director of Zaytoon Business Solutions, said, “We thank the people concerned in the government for trusting us as a partner despite being a new company. Hopefully, the digital booth will play a revolutionary role in the financial services of marginalised people.”

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