In recent times, Bangladesh has made remarkable strides in achieving financial inclusion, with around 60% of the adult population now having access to financial services. This impressive growth can be attributed in large part to the invaluable contributions of Mobile Financial Service (MFS) agents.
With a current count of 13 Mobile Financial Service Providers and a vast network of over 1.5 million agents, Bangladesh is rapidly progressing toward technological and financial empowerment.
The increasing number of agents has played a pivotal role in expanding and strengthening the delivery of financial services throughout the country. These Mobile Financial Service Providers not only offer a diverse range of products but also exhibit a remarkable ability to adapt quickly, scale up operations, and reach even the most remote communities.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck and the nation went into lockdown, MFS agents emerged as the unsung heroes, ensuring that cash support reached the vulnerable populations.
During this challenging time, the government disbursed approximately 920 billion BDT in support to millions of beneficiaries, with the agent network playing a crucial role in efficiently serving this massive cohort. They not only facilitated the smooth adoption of financial services by new users but also extended their assistance to address operational issues and even provide guidance on account management.
Stories of the invaluable contributions made by MFS agents have increasingly come to the fore, highlighting their role as trusted community figures. They have been working tirelessly at the grassroots level, going door to door in local communities to assist vulnerable women in opening MFS accounts.
Through their efforts, they have enabled one million vulnerable women to directly or indirectly operate MFS accounts. These agents have truly become catalysts of change, driving digital financial inclusion within marginalized communities.
Looking ahead, these agents remain an integral part of the journey to digitally and financially include marginalized and underprivileged communities. Without their contributions, these communities would struggle to bridge the gap between access to finance and their effective utilization. Through their accommodating behavior and genuine support, MFS agents have the power to dispel fears surrounding technology and empower the vulnerable.
The story of Bangladesh’s progress in financial inclusion is not only about numbers and statistics but also about the remarkable dedication and impact of the Mobile Financial Service agents who have become beacons of hope within their communities. Their efforts serve as a testament to the transformative power of technology and financial services, bringing positive change to the lives of those who need it the most.