|Banks offer a variety of products and services. One of the channels they use to deliver these is branchless banking, which is the delivery of financial services without relying on bank branches. |
By the definition of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), branchless banking can involve:
– Use of technology, such as payment cards or mobile phones, to identify customers and record transactions electronically and, in some cases, to allow customers to initiate transactions remotely.
– Use of outlets such as post offices and small retailers, that act as agents for financial services providers and that enable customers to perform functions that require their physical presence, such as cash handling and customer due diligence for account opening.
– The offer of at least basic cash deposit and withdrawal in addition to transactional or payment services.
– The backing of a government-recognized, deposit-taking institution, such as a formally licensed bank.
– Structuring of the above so that customers can use these banking services on a regular basis (available during normal business hours) and without needing to go to bank branches at all if that’s what they choose.
Examples of branchless banking technologies available in Nepal are the internet, automated teller machines (ATMs), debit cards, mobile phones, etc.
Branchless banking can be used by everyone, regardless of how much money they have in their bank accounts. In order to use these services, it is not mandatory to open a bank account!