Better late than never!02 July 2014 Kazi Zahidul Hasan
When most of the private commercial banks are offering online banking facility to their clients, the government in a belated move plans to bring the state-owned commercial banks (SCBs) under complete automation by 2016 with a view to ensuring better service to the clients, official sources said.
"We have set a target to bring all the SCBs under complete automation by 2016 by which the banks will offer online banking facility to their clients," a senior official of Bank and Financial Institutions Division under the finance ministry told The New Nation yesterday (Tuesday).
He said, a high-level committee led by a deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB) has already been formed to oversee the automation process of the SCBs including Sonali, Janata, Agrani and Rupali.
The public banks have already started the installation of banking software and related other computerized system under the programme though it will be highly expensive.
When asked, he said that development of the system became urgent to keep pace with the private commercial banks. Once the automation of the banks is completed, the clients will be able to use the facility of on-line banking, he added. "Banks have to make huge investment to become fully automated. So, these banks have been asked to use the funds provided by the government recently for their recapitalisation," he said
The banks have been asked to complete their automation process on priority basis so that they can compete with the private banks. Most of the private banks have already introduced the on-line banking facility after completion of their automation system.
Under this situation, automation of the SCBs should be completed to cater the demands of the clients as done by the private commercial banks, he noted.
The finance ministry official further said, the private banks with limited number of branches are offering the online banking service in the concentrated urban areas with less investment. On the other hand, the SCBs are running their banking business with a large number of branches (2521) throughout the country mostly in the rural areas where both the bank officials and clients are not accustomed to the upgraded computerized banking system, he opined.
It is almost impossible for public banks with large number of branches to complete the process overnight, he said.