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Futronic biometric scanners distributed to micro-merchants in Bangladesh

Bank Asia, Gates Foundation supports financial inclusion for women
Futronic biometric scanners distributed to micro-merchants in Bangladesh

In Kishoreganj, Bangladesh, Bank Asia Limited announced it has given out phones and Futronic FS80H fingerprint scanners to 800 women micro merchants to accelerate capacity building, support sustainable growth and improve banking services as part of a project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation since 2021.

The project – titled Nari Uddyogta Unnayane Arthik Antorvukti, which translates as “strengthening female empowerment through digital financial inclusion for better financial health” – promotes financial inclusion for women by providing start-up capital, loans, and training to address bank account ownership gender disparities in the country.

Bank Asia supports roughly 58,000 micro merchants in Bangladesh, who are “basically the extended hand of agents for providing limited capacity banking services at the doorstep of the customer,” said Rumana Akhter Tulee, AVP of Agent Banking at Bank Asia, in a comment emailed to Biometric Update. Many are based in rural areas where the population has limited access to banking.

There are 2,679 micro merchants in Kishoreganj, many of whom are female. By giving 800 women micro merchants these devices, Bank Asia is expanding capacity for the sustainable development of women in banking while addressing underbanked regions.

Futronic’s optical CMOS single-finger scanner, which features Neurotechnology algorithms for matching and liveness detection, is compatible with the Bank Asia Micro Merchant App. The devices are FAP10 and can connect to smartphones with a USB 2.0 adapter. Entrepreneurs can use the scanner in tandem with the app downloaded on their smartphone to authenticate customers.

Abul Kalam Azad, deputy commissioner of Kishoreganj, handed the devices out at an event led by Deputy Managing Director of Bank Asia Ziaul Hasan at Shilpakala Academy, Kishoreganj.

Kamruzzaman Khan, deputy director of Social Welfare and Deputy Commissioner of Women Affairs Md. Mamun Ur Rashid spoke at the event.

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