9:32 pm - Monday November 20, 2017

a2i enters into an MOU with Mastercard and Bank Asia to strengthen Digital Financial Services

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Access to Information (a2i), Bank Asia and Mastercard entered into a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today, in an endeavor to offer financial services to rural unbanked people of Bangladesh and make digital payment services accessible all over the country through Union Digital Centers (UDCs).

The MoU was inked at a ceremony held at the Prime Minister’s Office at Old Airport Road in the capital city Dhaka on October 30, 2017. Mr. Syed Mohammad Kamal, Country Manager Mastercard Bangladesh; Mr. Md. Arfan Ali, President & Managing Director of Bank Asia and Mr. Kabir Bin Anwar, Director General (Administration), Prime Minister’s Office and Project Director, a2i programme and other high officials from respective organizations attended the program.

It is expected that this endeavor would contribute to achieving the Government’s vision of making a digital Bangladesh by 2021. A2i will also assist Bank Asia and Mastercard extend financial services through Union Digital Centers which already partnered with Agent Banking. It will foster creation of pro-poor digital financial products and services by linking financial service providers.

Mastercard with the assistance of Access to Information (a2i) and Bank Asia will provide necessary technical knowledge to introduce innovative payment systems in Bangladesh by establishing a digital-payment ecosystem throughout the country. This will be done by producing universal payment instruments for Bank Asia agents to handle e-commerce transactions from the UDCs. Mastercard would also assist a2i and Bank Asia in setting up the Mastercard co-branded payment cards.

Mr. Kabir bin Anwar, Director General (administration), Prime minister’s office and project Director, a2i programme said `if Government and non-government organizations work jointly, the value of government services will increase tremendously to bring overall benefit to much number of the people of Bangladesh. Especially the underprivileged citizen of Bangladesh will be benefited from this MOU. It will help to shape citizen-oriented financial products from Union Digital Center through Bank Asia Agent Banking’.

Mr. Syed Mohammad Kamal, Country Manager, Mastercard Bangladesh said, “This tripartite partnership with Access to information (a2i) and Bank Asia Limited will further strengthens our payment offering to the unbanked and underbanked population. Mastercard is proud to leverage our wide range of technologies to bring people into the financial system. We are delighted about this partnership and believe that it will go a long way with the digital Bangladesh mandate of the government, while benefiting the country as a whole by disbursing subsidy digitally with the support of our latest technologies. We are also happy to get Bank Asia as our partner towards a less cash society”.

 President & Managing Director of Bank Asia Mr. Md. Arfan Ali in his speech said “This agreement will give an impetus to the Bank Asia’s effort to ensure rights of country people to have a bank account and reach financial services to doorsteps using the bank’s digital payment platform. I strongly believe this joint effort will play a strong role in changing the horizon of rural economy and contribute to achieve the government’s public service innovation agenda Vision 2021 “

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