12:00 AM, November 19, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 19, 2012

BB plans real-time fund transfer for banks

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Star Business Report

Sixth from left, Atiur Rahman, governor of Bangladesh Bank, poses with foreign delegates at the 12th SAARC Payments Council meeting at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka yesterday. Photo: STAR

Bangladesh Bank aims to introduce a mechanism for faster settlement of funds transferred from one bank to another by 2014, particularly to help businesses get liquidity without any delay, said a senior official yesterday.
The arrangement, termed as Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), is much faster than the present Electronic Fund Transfer Network (EFTN).
"High-value transfer will be done in real-time due to the introduction of the RTGS. It will accelerate the pace of business as liquidity flow will rise," said Dasgupta Asim Kumar, a BB executive director.
"We want to implement it by 2014," he told reporters at the 12th Saarc Payments Council meeting at Sonargaon Hotel in the capital.
Delegates from all Saarc states, except for Afghanistan, attended the meeting to devise strategies to ensure a smoother, safer and faster payment gateway for all, said Dasgupta.
"Another objective is to share experiences of each other," he said.
Central banks of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have already established the RTGS system, while the Maldives, Nepal and Bhutan have also made strides in implementing it, said the BB official.
"We are ahead of others in other aspects though," said Dasgupta, adding that the central bank has made progress in establishing the EFTN and an automated clearing house.
He also said the BB would a take service charge on automated cheque clearance and electronic fund transfer from the beginning of next year.
Inaugurating the meeting, Atiur Rahman, the BB governor, said automated clearance and EFTN have greatly facilitated promotion of financial inclusion by way of rapid expansion of mobile phone and smart card-based remote delivery of financial services.
“It has also facilitated cost-effective and speedy transactions,” he said.
The governor said the BB is now working towards a national payments switch to provide a common platform for inter-bank electronic payments originating from different delivery channels including ATMs (automated teller machine), POS (point of sales) terminals, internet, and mobile applications.
"The Saarc Payments Council may consider introducing training visits to payments system installations of other member countries. This may help speed up the eventual cross-border interlinking of electronic fund transfer channels of all member countries."

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