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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Male ego and bank ego...divided we walk

Again Sajjad Bhaiya writes on DS and about BRAC Bank here
Plans to set up a joint network of ATMs have stalled, as the country's banks are unwilling to share facilities with each other.Shared ATMs would allow customers from any of the banks in the scheme to use the cash point facilities of all member banks. This would massively expand customer networks and cut costs for banks. However each bank sees ATMs as a competitive tool and are worried that this advantage will be lost if the machines are opened to other banks' customers. They also fear the shared scheme will be in the control of BRAC Bank who launched the idea.BRAC Bank Limited, one of the fastest growing private banks in the country, launched Omnibus; a common network for ATMs and Point of Sales (POS) terminals in November last year investing Tk 6 crore in the project. So far IT Consultants Limited, operator of the ATM network Q-Cash is the only other member.Omnibus has integrated the ATM and POS networks of BRAC Bank and Q-Cash, enabling cardholders of the bank and Q-Cash member banks to access their accounts from any of the ATMs and POS terminals.But a senior official of IT Consultants Limited said the scheme had struggled to find other members. “Individual banks have shown little interest to join the common network,” he said.“Even our member banks do not want to use the Omnibus network run by the BRAC Bank,” the ITCL official said. “It is unfortunate that BRAC Bank had not set up Omnibus as a separate entity,” the official remarked.Currently Q-Cash has over 100 ATMs and BRAC Bank 55."Banks do not want to be a member of the Omnibus ATM and POS network because of the 'ego problem'," a senior official of AB Bank Limited said.Yesterday a top BRAC Bank official said Omnibus should be a separate entity.“We will make it a separate organisation from the BRAC Bank once seven members join the network,” Abedur Rahman Sikder, head of marketing and corporate affairs of the bank told The Daily Star.BRAC Bank takes Tk 10 lakh as joining fees to the network and Tk 1 lakh as monthly service charge.In most of the cases banks do not want to pay the fees, he added.The number of ATMs in Bangladesh has grown rapidly in the past few years and there are now more than 500 in operation, mainly in Dhaka and Chittagong. The largest operator is Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited that has invested heavily in the machines and now has around 230.Cash Link Bangladesh, a new company formed by a consortium of banks and their technology operations management partner, Euronet Worldwide have also planned to set up 505 ATMs across the country over the next three years.
It happens only in Bangladesh. Like all other spheres in life, especially in politics, banks have also decided to put the end consumers last in the priority. Why bother providing the customers shares access when life is going fine for them and for us anyways. Also, lets gang up and let not any one of us grow or prove innovative. Well, that excludes me, if I grow...its not my problem right? So lets join our hands together and stop any advancement by BRAC Bank. One side of the story.
The other side of the story, I have no idea. I would have believed the Daily Star article more had it been produced by someone else, there are claims in the air that some certain persons sometimes work as loyal mouthpieces of corporate houses to push forward their agenda. So I would request anyone knowing the other side of the story to please share it with us here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here is the other side of the story. SAJJADUR RAHMAN IS A BRAC CHAMCHA. I am sorry but that's what we started calling this writer in the foreign bank where I work.

Just two days after, a group of 13 banks jointly published a front page ad in The Daily Star where it was evident that:

1. They joined (all 13) because they don't have ego problems as claimed by chamcha.

2. This network also surprisingly includes all the foreign banks in Bangladesh. Even StanChart is on it due to the security precautions it provides. StanChart didn't join Brac even though our ex-head is now at Brac.

3. This network which they joined charges nothing in terms of membership fees or any other bogus fees that Brac adds. Brac chamcha leaves out that the competing network and its non-existent pricing.

4. Is 2x more ATMs than what Brac chamcha claims (and 5x more than what Brac factually has, not plans)

5. They are even allowing the network owner to install co-branded ATMs at their own site. (so much for 'ego' problems)

6. Brac Bank's actual reputation amongst its banking peers is an entire different story than what Brac Chamcha claims.

Brac Chamcha's blog: