Bringing seamless digital banking to people amidst accessibility issues | Asian Business Review

Bringing seamless digital banking to people amidst accessibility issues

The Digital Reward solution allows customers to enjoy zero-rated IP white-listed Digital Banking apps and free mobile data packs offered as incentives for weekend banking.

In Bangladesh, one of the major challenges in fully embracing the growth of digital banking lies in getting marginalised people to be more accepting of the new modes of banking and financial services. Most of them are reluctant to use these services as they have been used to the services of banks in their brick-and-mortar outlets, as well as due to the high cost of internet services in the country.

A large number of people from less-privileged socio-economic groups do not buy internet packages unless it is an absolute necessity. When they do, they buy as small packages as possible and do not usually renew them.

At the same time, one of the limitations that people currently have is the perception that banking services are only available on weekdays or during banking hours. This results in a huge fall in big-ticket transactions caused by the lack of awareness and incentives to do weekend banking.

BRAC Bank Bangladesh introduced the Digital Reward Solution as a fix to this issue and to help the people of Bangladesh have more access to tools for digital banking.

Digital Reward is a feature wherein customers of its Astha App can enjoy innovative features such as a zero-rated IP white-listed Digital Banking app on the mobile internet and free mobile data packs offered as incentives to do weekend banking. This allows customers to access digital banking without mobile internet charges and even with zero MB balance.

This resulted in a more active user base, increasing by over 20%, and an increase in new Astha app users by 34%.

Moreover, the bank also launched the “Astha WoW Weekend” to halt transaction falls during weekends. This campaign offers free mobile data packs for app users as incentives to do digital banking transactions during the weekends.

Incremental transaction counts in Astha app have also amounted to 100,000, whilst this campaign's weekend Astha app base has increased by 37%.

Ultimately, the activities and solutions by BRAC Bank Limited bridge the gap between internet connectivity issues and financial inclusion as the app are now charge-free on all major telecom operators in Bangladesh. These efforts have been recognised by the Asian Technology Excellence Awards 2022, as the company brought home the Bangladesh Technology Excellence Award for Digital - Banking.

The prestigious awards programme aims to recognise exceptional companies riding the digital disruption wave and leading the technological revolution and digital transformation journeys in their respective industries.

The Asian Technology Excellence Awards is presented by Asian Business Review. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2023 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's outstanding retail initiatives, please contact Jane Patiag at [email protected].

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