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The Financial Express

Bangladesh owns lowest ATMs among six South Asian nations

| Updated: December 20, 2021 18:40:49


Bangladesh owns lowest ATMs among six South Asian nations

The number of ATM booths in Bangladesh is the lowest among six South Asian countries, excepting Afghan-istan, according to a survey conducted by the IMF.

An automated teller machine (ATM) is an electronic device that enables a customer of any financial institution to withdraw cash, deposit, transfer funds, check balance or account information.

An ATM cardholder can do so at any time and without any direct interaction with a bank staffer.

The biggest number of such device means that there is adequate access to finances by people.

The IMF survey styled 'Financial Access Survey November 2020 shows the number of ATMs per 100,000 adults in Bangladesh is just below 10 (9.39).

Bhutan has the highest number of ATMs in South Asia with more than 48 such transaction machines followed by Nepal having 16.46 booths.

By the same token, the neighbouring India has nearly 21 ATM booths and Pakistan 11 per 100,000 adult people.

The unstable and war-torn Afghanistan has just 1.64 such electronic device per 100,000 adults.

According to the survey, the number of commercial bank branches per 100,000 adults in Bangladesh also remains worst in South Asia.

The number of branches for the same is just nine here.

Bangladesh is ahead of Afghanistan, which is one of the world's poorest counties, where nearly two such bank branches of commercial banks per 100,000 adults.

Again, Bhutan has the highest 19 branches per 100,000 adults. It is followed by Nepal 17.79, India 14.58 and Pakistan 10.41.

When contacted, a Bangladesh Bank senior official, who works at payment systems department, says the data used in the IMF survey is not updated.

The data is probably for 2019, he tells the FE.

During the coronavirus pandemic, according to the central banker, the expansion of banks and booths remained poor for lockdowns and other economic crisis.

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