A Bank is a financial intermediary that accepts deposits and channels those deposits into lending activities. Banks are a fundamental component of the financial system, and are also active players in financial markets. The essential role of a bank is to connect those who have capital (such as investors or depositors), with those who seek capital (such as individuals wanting a loan, or businesses wanting to grow).
Banking is generally a highly regulated industry, and government restrictions on financial activities by banks have varied over time and location. The current set of global standards are called Basel II. In some countries such as Germany, banks have historically owned major stakes in industrial corporations while in other countries such as the United States banks are prohibited from owning non-financial companies. In Japan, banks are usually the nexus of a cross-share holding entity known as the keiretsu. In France, bancassurance is prevalent, as most banks offer insurance services (and now real estate services) to their clients. The most recent trend has been the advance of universal banks, which attempt to offer their customers the full spectrum of financial services under the one roof.
The oldest bank still in existence is Monte dei Paschi di Siena, headquartered in Siena, Italy, which has been operating continuously since 1472.
HISTORY OF BANKING
Banks date back to ancient times. During the 3rd century AD, banks in Persia and other territories in the Persian Sassanid Empire issued letters of credit known as akks. Muslim traders are known to have used the cheque or akk system since the time of Harun Al-Rashid (9th century) of the Abbasid Caliphate. In the 9th century, a Muslim businessman could cash an early form of the cheque in China drawn on sources in Baghdad, a tradition that was significantly strengthened in the 13th and 14th centuries, during the Mongol Empire. Indeed, fragments found in the Cairo Geniza indicate that in the 12th century cheques remarkably similar to our own were in use, only smaller to save costs on the paper. They contain a sum to be paid and then the order “May so and so pay the bearer such and such an amount”. The date and name of the issuer are also apparent. The earliest known state deposit bank, Banco di San Giorgio (Bank of St. George), was founded in 1407 at Genoa, Italy.
Origin of the word
Silver drachm coin from Trapezus, 4th century BC
The name bank derives from the Italian word banco “desk/bench”, used during the Renaissance by Jewish Florentine bankers, who used to make their transactions above a desk covered by a green tablecloth. However, there are traces of banking activity even in times ancient , which indicates that the word ‘bank’ might not necessarily come from the word ‘banco’.
In fact, the word traces its origins back to the Ancient Roman Empire, where moneylenders would set up their stalls in the middle of enclosed courtyards called macella on a long bench called a bancu, from which the words banco and bank are derived. As a moneychanger, the merchant at the bancu did not so much invest money as merely convert the foreign currency into the only legal tender in Rome—that of the Imperial Mint.
The earliest evidence of money-changing activity is depicted on a silver drachm coin from ancient Hellenic colony Trapezus on the Black Sea, modern Trabzon, c. 350–325 BC, presented in the British Museum in London. The coin shows a banker’s table (trapeza) laden with coins, a pun on the name of the city.
In fact, even today in Modern Greek the word Trapeza (Τράπεζα) means both a table and a bank.
Cathay Bank in Boston’s Chinatown
The definition of a bank varies from country to country.
Under English common law, a banker is defined as a person who carries on the business of banking, which is specified as:
- conducting current accounts for his customers
- paying cheques drawn on him, and
- collecting cheques for his customers.
In most English common law jurisdictions there is a Bills of Exchange Act that codifies the law in relation to negotiable instruments, including cheques, and this Act contains a statutory definition of the term banker: banker includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not, who carry on the business of banking’. Although this definition seems circular, it is actually functional, because it ensures that the legal basis for bank transactions such as cheques does not depend on how the bank is organised or regulated.
The business of banking is in many English common law countries not defined by statute but by common law, the definition above. In other English common law jurisdictions there are statutory definitions of the business of banking or banking business. When looking at these definitions it is important to keep in mind that they are defining the business of banking for the purposes of the legislation, and not necessarily in general. In particular, most of the definitions are from legislation that has the purposes of entry regulating and supervising banks rather than regulating the actual business of banking. However, in many cases the statutory definition closely mirrors the common law one. Examples of statutory definitions:
- “banking business” means the business of receiving money on current or deposit account, paying and collecting cheques drawn by or paid in by customers, the making of advances to customers, and includes such other business as the Authority may prescribe for the purposes of this Act; (Banking Act Singapore).
- “banking business” means the business of either or both of the following:
- receiving from the general public money on current, deposit, savings or other similar account repayable on demand or within less than [3 months] … or with a period of call or notice of less than that period;
- paying or collecting cheques drawn by or paid in by customers
Since the advent of EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale), direct credit, direct debit and internet banking, the cheque has lost its primacy in most banking systems as a payment instrument. This has led legal theorists to suggest that the cheque based definition should be broadened to include financial institutions that conduct current accounts for customers and enable customers to pay and be paid by third parties, even if they do not pay and collect cheques.
Large door to an old bank vault.
Banks act as payment agents by conducting checking or current accounts for customers, paying cheques drawn by customers on the bank, and collecting cheques deposited to customers’ current accounts. Banks also enable customer payments via other payment methods such as telegraphic transfer, EFTPOS, and ATM.
Banks borrow money by accepting funds deposited on current accounts, by accepting term deposits, and by issuing debt securities such as banknotes and bonds. Banks lend money by making advances to customers on current accounts, by making installment loans, and by investing in marketable debt securities and other forms of money lending.
Banks provide almost all payment services, and a bank account is considered indispensable by most businesses, individuals and governments. Non-banks that provide payment services such as remittance companies are not normally considered an adequate substitute for having a bank account.
Banks borrow most funds from households and non-financial businesses, and lend most funds to households and non-financial businesses, but non-bank lenders provide a significant and in many cases adequate substitute for bank loans, and money market funds, cash management trusts and other non-bank financial institutions in many cases provide an adequate substitute to banks for lending savings to.
Wider Commercial Role
The commercial role of banks is not limited to banking, and includes:
- issue of banknotes (promissory notes issued by a banker and payable to bearer on demand)
- processing of payments by way of telegraphic transfer, EFTPOS, internet banking or other means
- issuing bank drafts and bank cheques
- accepting money on term deposit
- lending money by way of overdraft, installment loan or otherwise
- providing documentary and standby letters of credit (trade finance), guarantees, performance bonds, securities underwriting commitments and other forms of off-balance sheet exposures
- safekeeping of documents and other items in safe deposit boxes
- currency exchange
- acting as a ‘financial supermarket’ for the sale, distribution or brokerage, with or without advice, of insurance, unit trusts and similar financial products
Channels of Banking
Banks offer many different channels to access their banking and other services:
- A branch, banking centre or financial centre is a retail location where a bank or financial institution offers a wide array of face-to-face service to its customers.
- ATM is a computerised telecommunications device that provides a financial institution’s customers a method of financial transactions in a public space without the need for a human clerk or bank teller. Most banks now have more ATMs than branches, and ATMs are providing a wider range of services to a wider range of users. For example in Hong Kong, most ATMs enable anyone to deposit cash to any customer of the bank’s account by feeding in the notes and entering the account number to be credited. Also, most ATMs enable card holders from other banks to get their account balance and withdraw cash, even if the card is issued by a foreign bank.
- Mail is part of the postal system which itself is a system wherein written documents typically enclosed in envelopes, and also small packages containing other matter, are delivered to destinations around the world. This can be used to deposit cheques and to send orders to the bank to pay money to third parties. Banks also normally use mail to deliver periodic account statements to customers.
- Telephone banking is a service provided by a financial institution which allows its customers to perform transactions over the telephone. This normally includes bill payments for bills from major billers (e.g. for electricity).
- Online banking is a term used for performing transactions, payments etc. over the Internet through a bank, credit union or building society’s secure website.
- Mobile banking is a method of using one’s mobile phone to conduct simple banking transactions by remotely linking into a banking network.
- Video banking is a term used for performing banking transactions or professional banking consultations via a remote video and audio connection. Video banking can be performed via purpose built banking transaction machines (similar to an Automated teller machine), or via a videoconference enabled bank branch.
A bank can generate revenue in a variety of different ways including interest, transaction fees and financial advice. The main method is via charging interest on the capital it lends out to customers. The bank profits from the differential between the level of interest it pays for deposits and other sources of funds, and the level of interest it charges in its lending activities. This difference is referred to as the spread between the cost of funds and the loan interest rate. Historically, profitability from lending activities has been cyclical and dependent on the needs and strengths of loan customers and the stage of the economic cycle. Fees and financial advice constitute a more stable revenue stream and banks have therefore placed more emphasis on these revenue lines to smooth their financial performance.
In the past 20 years American banks have taken many measures to ensure that they remain profitable while responding to increasingly changing market conditions. First, this includes the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which allows banks again to merge with investment and insurance houses. Merging banking, investment, and insurance functions allows traditional banks to respond to increasing consumer demands for “one-stop shopping” by enabling cross-selling of products (which, the banks hope, will also increase profitability). Second, they have expanded the use of risk-based pricing from business lending to consumer lending, which means charging higher interest rates to those customers that are considered to be a higher credit risk and thus increased chance of default on loans. This helps to offset the losses from bad loans, lowers the price of loans to those who have better credit histories, and offers credit products to high risk customers who would otherwise been denied credit. Third, they have sought to increase the methods of payment processing available to the general public and business clients. These products include debit cards, prepaid cards, smart cards, and credit cards. They make it easier for consumers to conveniently make transactions and smooth their consumption over time (in some countries with underdeveloped financial systems, it is still common to deal strictly in cash, including carrying suitcases filled with cash to purchase a home). However, with convenience of easy credit, there is also increased risk that consumers will mismanage their financial resources and accumulate excessive debt. Banks make money from card products through interest payments and fees charged to consumers and transaction fees to companies that accept the cards. Helps in making profit and economic development as a whole.
- Savings account
- Cheque account
- Credit card
- Home loan
- Personal loan
- Business loan
- Project finance
- Capital raising (Equity / Debt / Hybrids)
- Risk management (FX, interest rates, commodities)
Banks in the Economy
The economic functions of banks include:
- issue of money, in the form of banknotes and current accounts subject to cheque or payment at the customer’s order. These claims on banks can act as money because they are negotiable and/or repayable on demand, and hence valued at par. They are effectively transferable by mere delivery, in the case of banknotes, or by drawing a cheque that the payee may bank or cash.
- netting and settlement of payments – banks act as both collection and paying agents for customers, participating in interbank clearing and settlement systems to collect, present, be presented with, and pay payment instruments. This enables banks to economise on reserves held for settlement of payments, since inward and outward payments offset each other. It also enables the offsetting of payment flows between geographical areas, reducing the cost of settlement between them.
- credit intermediation – banks borrow and lend back-to-back on their own account as middle men.
- credit quality improvement – banks lend money to ordinary commercial and personal borrowers (ordinary credit quality), but are high quality borrowers. The improvement comes from diversification of the bank’s assets and capital which provides a buffer to absorb losses without defaulting on its obligations. However, banknotes and deposits are generally unsecured; if the bank gets into difficulty and pledges assets as security, to raise the funding it needs to continue to operate, this puts the note holders and depositors in an economically subordinated position.
- maturity transformation – banks borrow more on demand debt and short term debt, but provide more long term loans. In other words, they borrow short and lend long. With a stronger credit quality than most other borrowers, banks can do this by aggregating issues (e.g. accepting deposits and issuing banknotes) and redemptions (e.g. withdrawals and redemptions of banknotes), maintaining reserves of cash, investing in marketable securities that can be readily converted to cash if needed, and raising replacement funding as needed from various sources (e.g. wholesale cash markets and securities markets).
Size of Global Banking Industry
Assets of the largest 1,000 banks in the world grew by 6.8% in the 2008/2009 financial year to a record $96.4 trillion while profits declined by 85% to $115bn. Growth in assets in adverse market conditions was largely a result of recapitalisation. EU banks held the largest share of the total, 56% in 2008/2009, down from 61% in the previous year. Asian banks’ share increased from 12% to 14% during the year, while the share of US banks increased from 11% to 13%. Fee revenue generated by global investment banking totalled $66.3bn in 2009, up 12% on the previous year.
The United States has the most banks in the world in terms of institutions (7,085 at the end of 2008) and possibly branches (82,000). This is an indicator of the geography and regulatory structure of the USA, resulting in a large number of small to medium-sized institutions in its banking system. As of Nov 2009, China’s top 4 banks have in excess of 67,000 branches with an additional 140 smaller banks with an undetermined number of branches. Japan had 129 banks and 12,000 branches. In 2004, Germany, France, and Italy each had more than 30,000 branches—more than double the 15,000 branches in the UK.
Types of banks
Banks’ activities can be divided into retail banking, dealing directly with individuals and small businesses; business banking, providing services to mid-market business; corporate banking, directed at large business entities; private banking, providing wealth management services to high net worth individuals and families; and investment banking, relating to activities on the financial markets. Most banks are profit-making, private enterprises. However, some are owned by government, or are non-profit organizations.
Types of Retail Banks
National Bank of the Republic, Salt Lake City 1908
ATM AL RAJHI BANK
National Copper Bank, Salt Lake City 1911
- Commercial bank: the term used for a normal bank to distinguish it from an investment bank. After the Great Depression, the U.S. Congress required that banks only engage in banking activities, whereas investment banks were limited to capital market activities. Since the two no longer have to be under separate ownership, some use the term “commercial bank” to refer to a bank or a division of a bank that mostly deals with deposits and loans from corporations or large businesses.
- Community banks: locally operated financial institutions that empower employees to make local decisions to serve their customers and the partners.
- Community development banks: regulated banks that provide financial services and credit to under-served markets or populations.
- Postal savings banks: savings banks associated with national postal systems.
- Private banks: banks that manage the assets of high net worth individuals.
- Offshore banks: banks located in jurisdictions with low taxation and regulation. Many offshore banks are essentially private banks.
- Savings bank: in Europe, savings banks take their roots in the 19th or sometimes even 18th century. Their original objective was to provide easily accessible savings products to all strata of the population. In some countries, savings banks were created on public initiative; in others, socially committed individuals created foundations to put in place the necessary infrastructure. Nowadays, European savings banks have kept their focus on retail banking: payments, savings products, credits and insurances for individuals or small and medium-sized enterprises. Apart from this retail focus, they also differ from commercial banks by their broadly decentralised distribution network, providing local and regional outreach—and by their socially responsible approach to business and society.
- Building societies and Landesbanks: institutions that conduct retail banking.
- Ethical banks: banks that prioritize the transparency of all operations and make only what they consider to be socially-responsible investments.
Types of investment banks
- Investment banks “underwrite” (guarantee the sale of) stock and bond issues, trade for their own accounts, make markets, and advise corporations on capital market activities such as mergers and acquisitions.
- Merchant banks were traditionally banks which engaged in trade finance. The modern definition, however, refers to banks which provide capital to firms in the form of shares rather than loans. Unlike venture capital firms, they tend not to invest in new companies.
- Universal banks, more commonly known as financial services companies, engage in several of these activities. These big banks are very diversified groups that, among other services, also distribute insurance— hence the term bancassurance, a portmanteau word combining “banque or bank” and “assurance”, signifying that both banking and insurance are provided by the same corporate entity.
Other types of banks
- Central banks are normally government-owned and charged with quasi-regulatory responsibilities, such as supervising commercial banks, or controlling the cash interest rate. They generally provide liquidity to the banking system and act as the lender of last resort in event of a crisis.
- Islamic Banks adhere to the concepts of Islamic law. This form of banking revolves around several well-established principles based on Islamic canons. All banking activities must avoid interest, a concept that is forbidden in Islam. Instead, the bank earns profit (markup) and fees on the financing facilities that it
3. BANKING IN BANGLADESH
The banking system at independence consisted of two branch offices of the former State Bank of Pakistan and seventeen large commercial banks, two of which were controlled by Bangladeshi interests and three by foreigners other than West Pakistanis. There were fourteen smaller commercial banks. Virtually all banking services were concentrated in urban areas. The newly independent government immediately designated the Dhaka branch of the State Bank of Pakistan as the central bank and renamed it the Bangladesh Bank. The bank was responsible for regulating currency, controlling credit and monetary policy, and administering exchange control and the official foreign exchange reserves. The Bangladesh government initially nationalized the entire domestic banking system and proceeded to reorganize and rename the various banks. Foreign-owned banks were permitted to continue doing business in Bangladesh. The insurance business was also nationalized and became a source of potential investment funds. Cooperative credit systems and postal savings offices handled service to small individual and rural accounts. The new banking system succeeded in establishing reasonably efficient procedures for managing credit and foreign exchange. The primary function of the credit system throughout the 1970s was to finance trade and the public sector, which together absorbed 75 percent of total advances.
The government’s encouragement during the late 1970s and early 1980s of agricultural development and private industry brought changes in lending strategies. Managed by the Bangladesh Krishi Bank, a specialized agricultural banking institution, lending to farmers and fishermen dramatically expanded. The number of rural bank branches doubled between 1977 and 1985, to more than 3,330. Denationalization and private industrial growth led the Bangladesh Bank and the World Bank to focus their lending on the emerging private manufacturing sector. Scheduled bank advances to private agriculture, as a percentage of sectoral GDP, rose from 2 percent in FY 1979 to 11 percent in FY 1987, while advances to private manufacturing rose from 13 percent to 53 percent.
The transformation of finance priorities has brought with it problems in administration. No sound project-appraisal system was in place to identify viable borrowers and projects. Lending institutions did not have adequate autonomy to choose borrowers and projects and were often instructed by the political authorities. In addition, the incentive system for the banks stressed disbursements rather than recoveries, and the accounting and debt collection systems were inadequate to deal with the problems of loan recovery. It became more common for borrowers to default on loans than to repay them; the lending system was simply disbursing grant assistance to private individuals who qualified for loans more for political than for economic reasons. The rate of recovery on agricultural loans was only 27 percent in FY 1986, and the rate on industrial loans was even worse. As a result of this poor showing, major donors applied pressure to induce the government and banks to take firmer action to strengthen internal bank management and credit discipline. As a consequence, recovery rates began to improve in 1987. The National Commission on Money, Credit, and Banking recommended broad structural changes in Bangladesh’s system of financial intermediation early in 1987, many of which were built into a three-year compensatory financing facility signed by Bangladesh with the IMF in February 1987.
One major exception to the management problems of Bangladeshi banks was the Grameen Bank, begun as a government project in 1976 and established in 1983 as an independent bank. In the late 1980s, the bank continued to provide financial resources to the poor on reasonable terms and to generate productive self-employment without external assistance. Its customers were landless persons who took small loans for all types of economic activities, including housing. About 70 percent of the borrowers were women, who were otherwise not much represented in institutional finance. Collective rural enterprises also could borrow from the Grameen Bank for investments in tube wells, rice and oil mills, and power looms and for leasing land for joint cultivation. The average loan by the Grameen Bank in the mid-1980s was around Tk.2,000 (US$65), and the maximum was just Tk.18,000 (for construction of a tin-roof house). Repayment terms were 4 percent for rural housing and 8.5 percent for normal lending operations.
The Grameen Bank extended collateral-free loans to 2,00,000 landless people in its first 10 years. Most of its customers had never dealt with formal lending institutions before. The most remarkable accomplishment was the phenomenal recovery rate; amid the prevailing pattern of bad debts throughout the Bangladeshi banking system, only 4 percent of Grameen Bank loans were overdue. The bank had from the outset applied a specialized system of intensive credit supervision that set it apart from others. Its success, though still on a rather small scale, provided hope that it could continue to grow and that it could be replicated or adapted to other development-related priorities. The Grameen Bank was expanding rapidly, planning to have 500 branches throughout the country by the late 1980s.
Beginning in late 1985, the government pursued a tight monetary policy aimed at limiting the growth of domestic private credit and government borrowing from the banking system. The policy was largely successful in reducing the growth of the money supply and total domestic credit. Net credit to the government actually declined in FY 1986. The problem of credit recovery remained a threat to monetary stability, responsible for serious resource misallocation and harsh inequities. Although the government had begun effective measures to improve financial discipline, the draconian contraction of credit availability contained the risk of inadvertently discouraging new economic activity.
Foreign exchange reserves at the end of FY 1986 were US$476 million, equivalent to slightly more than 2 months worth of imports. This represented a 20-percent increase of reserves over the previous year, largely the result of higher remittances by Bangladeshi workers abroad. The country also reduced imports by about 10 percent to US$2.4 billion. Because of Bangladesh’s status as a least developed country receiving concessional loans, private creditors accounted for only about 6 percent of outstanding public debt. The external public debt was US$6.4 billion, and annual debt service payments were US$467 million at the end of FY 1986
Number and Types of Banks
The number of banks in all now stands at 49 in Bangladesh. Out of the 49 banks, four are Nationalised Commercial Banks (NCBs), 28 local private commercial banks, 12 foreign banks and the rest five are Development Financial Institutions (DFIs).
Sonali Bank is the largest among the NCBs while Pubali Bank is leading in the private ones. Among the 12 foreign banks, Standard Chartered has become the largest in the country. Besides the scheduled banks, Samabai (Cooperative) Bank, Ansar-VDP Bank, Karmasansthan (Employment) Bank and Grameen bank are functioning in the financial sector.The number of total branches of all scheduled banks is 6,038 as of June 2000. Of the branches, 39.95 per cent (2,412) are located in the urban areas and
60.05 per cent (3,626) in the rural areas. Of the branches NCBs hold 3,616, private commercial banks 1,214, foreign banks 31 and specialised banks 1,177.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) regulates and supervises the activities of all banks. The BB is now carrying out a reform programme to ensure quality services by the banks.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) has been working as the central bank since the country’s independence. Its prime jobs include issuing of currency, maintaining foreign exchange reserve and providing transaction facilities of all public monetary matters. BB is also responsible for planning the government’s monetary policy and implementing it thereby.
The BB has a governing body comprising of nine members with the Governor as its chief. Apart from the head office in Dhaka, it has nine more branches, of which two in Dhaka and one each in Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna, Bogra, Sylhet, Rangpur and Barisal.
Nationalized Commercial Banks (NCBs)
1. Sonali Bank
2. Janata Bank
3. Agrani Bank
4. Rupali Bank
Private Commercial Banks (PCBs)
- Pubali Bank Limited
- Uttara Bank Limited
- AB Bank Limited
- National Bank Limited
- The City Bank Limited
- Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited
- International Finance Investment and Commerce Bank Limited
- United Commercial Bank Limited
- ICB Islamic Bank Limited
- Eastern Bank Limited
- National Credit and Commerce Bank Limited
- Prime Bank Limited
- Southeast Bank Limited
- Dhaka Bank Limited
- Al-Arafha Islami Bank Limited
- Social Islami Bank Limited
- Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited
- Mercantile Bank Limited
- Standard Bank Limited
- ONE Bank Limited
- Export Import Bank of Bangladesh Limited
- Bangladesh Commerce Bank Limited
- Mutual Trust Bank Limited
- First Security Islami Bank Limited
- The Premier Bank Limited
- Bank Asia Limited
- Trust Bank Limited
- Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited
- Jamuna Bank Limited
- BRAC Bank Limited
1. American Express Bank
2. Standard Chartered Bank
3. Habib Bank Ltd.
4. State Bank of India
5. Credit Agricole Indosuez
6. National Bank of Pakistan
7. Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd.
8. City Bank NA
9. Hanvit Bank Ltd.
10. HSBC Ltd.
11. Shamil Islami Bank Of Bahrain EC
12. Standard Chartered Bank
1. Bangladesh Krishi Bank
2. RajshahiKrishiUnnayan Bank
3. Bangladesh Shilpa Bank
4. Bangladesh Shilpa Rin Sangstha
5. Bank of Small Industries & Commerce Bangladesh Ltd.
1. Ansar VDP Unnayan Bank
2. Bangladesh Samabai Bank Ltd. (BSBL)
3. Grameen Bank
4. Karmasansthan Bank
Electronic banking as a segment of electronic business, which, in turn, encompasses all types of business performed through electronic networks. Electronic channels are used for both business to-business and business-to customer transactions, such as ordering goods, delivering software or paying for such transactions. E-banking is considered to be a segment of e-business to the extent that banks are involved in the conduct of business transactions via electronic media; other non banking financial products and services (e.g. insurance), not to mention products and services from other sectors of business, may be sold electronically as well (Deutsche Bundes bank Monthly Report, December, 2000) Electronic banking plays a vital role in the economic development of a country Due to immense advances of information and communication technology (ICT), it certainly introduced new dimensions for the global E-banking community. It provides some attractive features for the customers than those offered by traditional banking system such as to open an account; it takes less time than traditional system. Other services offered like free fund transfer and free payment cards etc. In case of traditional banking system a fund transfer, for instance, used to take several days whereas electronic banking is capable to perform the same operations within few seconds. Customers are getting better services now because of the development of ICT in E-banking and so bank now can perform its function with high speed and accuracy.
Types of electronic banking
The terms ‘PC banking’, ‘online banking’, ‘Internet banking’, ‘Telephone banking’ or ‘mobile banking’ refer to a number of ways in which customers can access their banks without having to be physically present at the bank branch.
Tele-banking service is provided by phone. To access an account it is required to dial a particular telephone number and there are several options of services. Options included-
• Checking account balance
• Funds transfer between current, savings and credit card accounts
• Bill payments
• Stock exchange transaction
• Receive statement via fax
• Loan payment information
The increasing awareness of the importance of literacy of computer has resulted in increasing use of personal computers through the entire world. Furthermore, incredible plummet of cost of microprocessor has accelerated the use of computer. The term ‘PC banking’ is used for banking business transacted from
a customer’s PC. Using the PC banking or home banking now customers can use their personal computers at home or at their office to access their accounts for transactions by subscribing to and dialing into the banks’ Intranet proprietary software system using password.
Types of PC Banking
Basically, there are two types of PC banking. The first type is online banking, in which bank transactions are conducted within closed networks. The customer needs specialized software provided by his bank. The second type is Internet banking, which German banks have been offering since the mid-nineties, although the only product they were offering at the time was information. Unlike closed networks, Internet banking permits the customer to conduct transactions from any terminal with access to the Internet.
Internet banking would free both bankers and customers of the need for proprietary software to carry on with their online banking transactions. Customer behavior is changing rapidly. Now the financial service is characterized by individuality, independence of time and place and flexibility. These facts represent huge challenges for the financial service providers. So the Internet is now considered to be a ‘strategic weapon’ for them to satisfy the ever-changing customers’ demand and innovative business needs. Adequate legal framework and maximum security are the two essential factors for Internet banking. The comprehensive security infrastructure includes layers of security from the network to the browser, including sophisticated encryption that protects customers’ from intrusion when they access the bank over the public network. Actually mobile banking is a variation of Internet banking. Mobile banking is a good example of how the lines between the various forms of e-banking are becoming gradually blurred. Due to the new transmission technologies such as WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), portable terminal like mobile phones, personal digital assistant (PDA) or small hand-held PCs are providing bank customers with access to the Internet and thus paving the way to Internet banking (Islam, Monirul, March 06, 2005).
It assures immense flexibility and makes the financial services independent of time and place. However, the use of mobile banking is still in a nascent state. The slower transmission speed of the WAP standard and the limited amount of information available are just two of the factors inhibiting the use of those terminals.
Status of Computerization and Electronic Banking System in Bangladesh
There are a total of 49 scheduled public and private banks in the country. Here there are four state owned commercial banks (Nationalized Commercial Banks- NCBs) have 3496 branches, five specialized banks (DFIs) have 1311 branches, 30 local private commercial banks (Private Commercial Banks-PCBs) have branches of the scheduled banks in the country. The banking system of our country, depending on computerization can be classified into three categories: (i.) Completely computerized (ii.) Partially computerized (iii) Not computerized. Standard Chartered Grindlays Bank Ltd., City Bank NA, American Express Bank, HSBC etc are completely computerized banks in our country. All privates and state owned banks are partially computerized and not computerized. The overall picture of computerization in the banking sector of our country presented in the following table.
The overall computer density in the banking sector is 1.64. For foreign commercial banks (FCBs) the computer density is 45.34, where as for NCBs the ratio is only 0.41. The specialized bank scenario is almost same as the NCBs, 0.43. On the other hand, private commercial banks have comparatively higher ratio, 4.94. As a whole 81.81 percent bank does not have any local area network (LAN), 30 percent have WAN (Wide Area Network) but for some banks many branches are outside of WAN connectivity. At present, all of the foreign banks of our country are using online banking system, they are invested a lot for their automation banking services. For this reason, they are increasing market share every year. They are the pioneer of implementing electronic banking systems in Bangladesh, but now most of the private banks of our country are using electronic banking systems. Recently a number of commercial banks of Bangladesh have become the member of Belgium based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). For international payment settlement 33 percent of banks are using now SWIFT. With the activation of the SWIFT system banks enjoy instant, low-cost, speedy and reliable connectivity for L/C transmission, fund transfers, message communication and worldwide financial activities. Earlier only foreign banks of this country were availing this facility. In our country different banks are offering electronic banking services in different ways, some are offering ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) services, some are tele-banking and some are electronic fund transfer, debit card, credit card etc. The following table shows the different electronic banking services in our country.
The above table shows the different electronic banking services are increasing day by day in Bangladesh.
Name of Some Electronic Banks in Bangladesh:
Actually cent percent online banking is not available in our country. There are some banks that provide online and manual electronic banking services. The names of the some banks, type of services, electronic payment and their web addresses are given in the following table (http://www.bangladesh-bank.org/).
Types of Electronic Payment System
Electronic payments are services that allow business parties to pay directly or to debit accounts via telecommunication systems. This area is frequently called Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT), but that term is best reserved for credit transfers between banks where funds flow directly from one bank account to another (Jaiswal, S., 2000).
Electronic payment systems fall into a number of categories:
• Payment via customer accounts or direct settlement with the provider in closed on line services, Electronic direct debit systems,
• Credit card-based systems and
• System which utilize virtual memory
Customer Satisfaction of Electronic Banking
According to J Power, online banking is the preferred transaction method among banking customers. One reason is that online banking is faster than visiting a bank and standing in line to see a bank teller. Before 5 years the banking services were based on branch. People were served from the bank where they have accounts. They had not the option to draw money wherever they like. But at present most of the banks are under the network and anyone can draw money wherever he likes. Suppose if anyone opens an account in
Dhaka bank in any branch then he is ordained to withdraw the cash even from belkuchi, Sirajgonj branch or anywhere from any branch of Dhaka bank. The balance of clients account is kept on line and within a fraction of second he may debit or credit it from anywhere of the country. So it is a great opportunity for him. We need not carry the money with us if we even travel to remote areas. Just deposit the money in our account and withdraw it wherever we need. People are enjoying these facilities recently. Now they need not to be worry for their cash handling with taking great risk like snatching or high jacking.
On the other hand people can withdraw their money through ATM card and wherever they need. It depends on the availability of the ATM booths. Earlier people had the opportunity to withdraw cash during the transaction period of the respective branch where they have account. But now you are entitled the opportunity to withdraw cash at any time like evening, night or even at midnight. The banks call it any time banking. People may draw money at their convenient booth while wandering in the busy town. The inaugural study focuses on performance among the nation’s largest banks via Customer satisfaction. We know- Customer satisfaction= When products performances matches with the customer’s expectation level. Whenever the banks advertise or promise that people may be able to get these services, then the expectation level of the customer rises sharply and wants to get that benefit from the banks. If the banks fail to mitigate the requirement of the customer then dissatisfaction occurs. The services are –
• E-cash facilities
• 24/7 day services
• Bills paying
• ATM facilities
• SMS banking -(Access financial information at fingertips)