The Bangladesh Bank has issued guidelines for white label ATMs and white label merchant acquiring services to help spread banking services across the country at an affordable cost, according to an article in New Age. The total number of ATM booths in the country reached 10,924 at the end of December 2019 and were all owned, installed and managed by the banks.
The banks previously found it costly to install ATMS in rural areas, but with the new guidelines, the Bangladesh Bank has set an urban and rural ratio of 1:3, ensuring that unbanked people will be provided three ATMs in a rural area if a WLMA licensee installs one ATM in any urban area.
In the rural areas, ATMs would not only provide users the ability to withdraw cash but also make deposits, fund transfers, pay bills, send POS for retail service, receive statements and balance inquiries.
The guidelines do not specify how much rural customers will pay for ATM services
For providing both ATM and merchant acquiring services, a WLAMA entity will have to ensure capital along with a bank guarantee. To provide ATM service only, there would be no requirement of a bank guarantee.