Financial Inclusion of the Poor and Marginalized Population in Banking: A case of Agency Banking in Malaysia
The purpose of the study was to investigate factors affecting financial inclusion of banks in Malaysia with specific focus on mobile banking, agency banking, financial awareness, and products diversification as an instrument in financial inclusion in Malaysia. The research was supported by theory of financial innovation, modern development theory and agency theory. The population of the study was 35 respondents who comprised 19 branch managers, 16 operation managers and the C.E.O and since the sample was very small, the research applied census approach. The research used primary data which was collected using a questionnaire that was filled by the operation managers, branch managers and the CEO. The study adopted a descriptive research design. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The data was presented in tables and results disseminated in percentages. The study established that the four factors; mobile banking (80%), agency banking (64%), instant credit facility (100%) and promotion of bank products (100%) were significant factors influencing financial inclusion for banks in Malaysia. The study recommends that financial education should be regularly provided to the residents from all corners of the study area, there is need for the bank to consider agency outlets as some said that branches are far from them thus holding cash in hand, the bank management to improve on their lending policies particularly in adopting simplified loan application procedures and advancing instant credit facilities to enable its members execute their businesses and investments with efficiency, and leverage on new technology such as mobile banking to break physical barrier and achieve efficiency in service delivery. The study findings were significant to banks in improving their financial inclusion, and future researchers.
Keywords: Financial Inclusion, mobile banking, agency banking, instant credit facility, promotion on financial inclusion
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