Bangladesh has garnered attention as one of the most favored destination for investment and economic growth across the world. Numerous economic and financial publications have stated the immense potential of Bangladesh, given the highly adaptive, low-cost and educated workforce the country has to offer.
Many reputed foreign companies have already established operations in Bangladesh, allowing employment and livelihood to the eligible workforce. Millions of people across the country are now contributing to the overall development and economic growth of Bangladesh.
Given the enormous financial contribution to the economy of Bangladesh, it is difficult to comprehend the fact that most of the workforce do not have access to a banking or financial services. A recent study has shown that less than 20% of the adult population of the country have access to banking services.
With a vision to provide ubiquitous banking and financial service to the masses of unbanked population of the country, United Commercial Bank (UCB) has launched its very own Mobile Financial Service, UCash. UCB, one of the leading private banks in the country, has been providing banking service for over 30 years.
Being one of the leading banks in the country, UCB believes strongly in the concept of financial inclusion. From an economic perspective, it is imperative that banking services be extended to everyone, to truly achieve economic and financial growth.
Mobile Financial Service (MFS) has been identified as the tool to bridge the gap between banked and unbanked population by Bangladesh Bank. MFS allows offering banking services to anyone with a mobile phone. With over 100 million mobile subscribers in Bangladesh, mobile phones act as an easy, safe and widely available access channel to banking services. Numerous banks have already started offering Mobile Financial Service in Bangladesh. However, these services are somewhat restricted to the facility of money transfer between account holders.
Having over 30 years of experience in the banking sector, UCB understands that banking services are not just limited money transfer services. Savings account, deposit schemes, bill payment, credit and loan facilities, salary and payroll services are also part of banking services.
UCash is the first Mobile Financial Service provider to offer daily interest on customer's deposit in their account.
It was a revolutionary initiative in the MFS landscape. It is now possible for anyone to receive interest on their savings simply by having a UCash account. The benefits of savings, which were once restricted only to people with bank accounts, rapidly became available to anyone with a mobile phone.
UCash has also extended its footprint to lifestyle products in its short lifespan. Recently, UCash offered its customers the option to purchase tickets for the Asia Cup 2014 series directly from their UCash account. It was the first time an MFS provider offered mobile ticketing for an international event.
UCash plans to extend its service portfolio to offer new and innovative services to its customers in the coming months. Customers can expect a plethora of banking and financial services through UCash. UCB is committed to extending banking services to the unbanked population of the country. UCB believes that being a pioneering bank in Bangladesh, it is a social responsibility towards the nation to fuel financial inclusion in the economy.
Bangladesh is a land of potential, hopes, dreams and progress. It has the potential to becoming one of the fastest growing economies of the world. Our present generation is geared up to offer a brighter future to the next generation. The people of Bangladesh need financial stability to achieve its true potential, all of which can be achieved by providing banking and financial services to the masses. United Commercial Bank and UCash aims to unlock the true potential of Bangladesh.
The writer is Head of UCash, UCB