The central bank has asked the commercial banks to ensure round-the-clock operation of alternative delivery channels (ADCs) during the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha holidays in order to facilitate smooth transactions.
The ADCs include ATM (automated teller machine), POS (point of sale), e-payment gateway and mobile financial services (MFS) through which a customer can access financial services.
On Sunday, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) issued a directive in this regard, asking the managing directors and chief executive officers of the scheduled banks to take necessary measures to ensure smooth transactions during the vacation.
The move is aimed at ensuring access to banking services through ADCs during Eid holidays, BB spokesperson Shubhankar Saha told the FE.
Usually, transactions through digital channels such as ATM, Internet or online and mobile financial services surge on the weekend and other holidays, said Mr. Saha, also an executive director of the central bank.
Presently, most banks are now adopting modern methods to serve customers better as more and more clients are opting for modern technologies to save their time and costs.
The scheduled banks will remain closed from September 01 to 03 on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, one of the largest religious festivals of the Muslims.
In its directive, the central bank also asked the banks to beef up security measures at the ATM booths to avert any untoward incidents.
It also instructed the banks to ensure that cash is always available at the ATM booths during the vacation.
There are more than 9,000 ATM booths across the country, 5,000 of which, including Fast Tracks, are operated by the Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) alone.
"We've already taken adequate measures to ensure uninterrupted services to our clients during the vacation," a senior official of the DBBL told the FE. According to the BB directive, the banks must inform their clients of any transactions made through ATM or POS by sending SMS (short message service).
Meanwhile, money withdrawals from the banks before the Eid festival may decrease slightly this year, as the use of both credit and debit cards, also known as plastic money, is increasing gradually.
The banks now see low demand for cash from their vaults ahead of festivals like Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha, as a large number of people are now using mobile financial services, agent banking and e-banking for transactions.
These services have reduced the tendency to keep cash in their wallets, the market insiders explained.
Presently, nine million debit cards are being used across the country and around one million clients use credit cards.