Bank Simpanan Nasional: Pioneering Financial Inclusion in Malaysia

*Available in digital version only
02 Nov 2016
Bank Simpanan Nasional, better known as BSN was established in 1974 to promote and mobilise savings among the general public, particularly from small savers. One of the BSN’s key initiatives under its Corporate Strategic Plan (CSP) apart from automated banking was the Agent Banking model, named Ejen Berdaftar (EB) in Malay, introduced in 2012 to strengthen its community outreach. The EB model by BSN was the first of its kind in Malaysia and worked through a network of agents without the need to set up physical branch infrastructure to serve those living in remote and rural areas. Although the number of appointed agents reached beyond the target set by the government by 2014, there were some challenges faced by BSN in implementing the EB. How could BSN take its EB model to greater heights, in the face of challenges and increased competition? This case examined BSN’s EB practices and the external market factors as it embarked on its quest of providing financial services to the rural and financially excluded communities in Malaysia. The case is divided into eight sections.