LONDON, 05 February 2016 — A new Lafferty research report on retail banking, cards and payments in Bangladesh, reveals a developing market with terrific growth potential. Enthusiastic take-up of financial services in recent years hints at a large unmet demand and there are opportunities for banks and networks willing to invest.
A key success story is Dutch-Bangla Bank's (DBBL) proprietary debit card scheme: Nexus. DBBL has developed the largest network of ATMs and POS terminals in the country, and this has led to a seventeen-fold increase in billed volume in six years, overtaking Visa in the process. Nexus is just one of several proprietary schemes in a fragmented debit card market but DBBL's focus on acceptance infrastructure has seen it rise to the top.
"A common problem in developing markets like Bangladesh is the lack of retail banking infrastructure," noted Lafferty's head of Retail Banking and Cards & Payments Intelligence, David Hickey. "Bangladesh has made great strides in this area with a fivefold increase in the number of ATMs and POS terminals in recent years — but it still lags behind countries like India and Pakistan in terms of penetration so more work needs to be done."
Mobile money has been growing strongly in recent years in Bangladesh: since its launch in 2010, almost 40 million accounts have been registered and a network of 700,000 agents established. Mobile money is bank-led in Bangladesh and 20 banks are already active in the market. Mobile money is bringing millions of Bangladeshis into the banking fold, increasing financial literacy and therefore creating a larger addressable market for the banks and networks.
As cards become more commonplace in Bangladesh, one fascinating area will be competition between the international networks. The duopoly that Visa and MasterCard enjoy in much of the Western world is being challenged in emerging markets as other networks seek to gain a foothold. Visa and MasterCard are present in the market but American Express has made inroads through a partnership with The City Bank which began in 2009. Two other networks — JCB and Diners Club — have recently entered the market and will be hoping that they can follow Amex's lead and build a healthy market share. The report is now available here.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Lafferty Global Research (formerly WCI)
Lafferty Global Research is an online resource providing market and competitor intelligence on payment cards, e-money, acquiring/processing, retail banking and consumer credit. Covering over 70 countries, our global databases provide you with the critical information you need to make informed decisions in those markets where you already have a presence, as well as enabling you to make an accurate assessment prior to entering (or leaving) a market.
Lafferty Group is a leading provider of advanced knowledge services and thought leadership to the retail banking and consumer financial services industry -- and has been for over three decades. Lafferty Group has particular specialisations in the fields of retail banking, cards and payments, and mobile financial services. The group's comprehensive services include senior management councils, benchmarking research, thought leadership reports, bank ratings, news insights, advisory services and live events such as conferences and masterclasses. Lafferty Group has a proven track record of success and innovation, most recently as the founder of the Retail Banking Academy, the first banking education body dedicated to the professional development of retail bankers and cards and payments professionals globally.
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