SBAC Bank will use Temenos as it seeks to reach unbanked customers in rural Bangladesh

SBAC Bank will use Temenos software as it seeks to reach unbanked customers in rural Bangladesh

New Bangladeshi bank South Bangla Agriculture & Commerce Bank has begun operations using Temenos T24 as its core banking software.

SBAC Bank is one of nine new entrants to the Bangladeshi banking market this year. Headed by Rafiqul Islam, chief executive, the new bank plans to set up 12 branches across Bangladesh in its first year, with a strong focus on agro-business, the rural economy, exports and inward remittance flows.

The bank will also focus on bringing unbanked customers into its network; Temenos estimates that around 60% of Bangladesh is currently unbanked, while separate figures from the UN suggest that two-thirds of the country’s population is still employed in agriculture. The country’s government approved SBAC Bank as part of a drive to encourage greater financial inclusion and GDP growth; two other banks were also approved this month, and five more received approval in March.

SBAC Bank has said that it chose Temenos as its core banking software vendor because of the firm’s local presence, its short implementation time, and the brand’s global reputation. The implementation took two months, from signing in February to go-live in April. Temenos currently has five banks live on its T24 system in Bangladesh.

“The speed in which we have reached go-live is testament to Temenos’ experience and capabilities,” said Amjad Hossain, chairman of SBAC Bank. “Our aim is to be the leading bank in Bangladesh, and with the support of Temenos, we believe we can achieve this.”

The other two banks approved in Bangladesh this month are NRB Commercial Bank, and Union Bank.