Banking GIS – A New Approach in Bangladesh

GIS is now-a-days a very useful tool for decision making. Whenever it requires making a decision related to “location”, it comes to the word ‘GIS’. GIS makes these location related decisions and analysis very easy. It makes the analysis simple and precise if the inputs are correct. Thus one can have the benefits of analyzing spatial data as well as socio-economic data in GIS platform.

GIS in developed countries

Developed countries like USA, UK, Japan are using this technology enormously in different business sectors beside development activities like real state business, banking, information sharing and so on. They use it to leverage their functionality and also increase output. With GIS, the productivity is increased and also the decision making jobs are very easy and accurate.

GIS in Bangladesh

In recent days, GIS technology is used in different sectors of Bangladesh. But the matter is it is only used to prepare a resource map or risk map of an area. The analyzing power of this tool is merely used in those areas. The organizations working in development sector are preparing maps and reports. But the funny matter is maps are prepared in one cell. The person working in this cell is well skilled in GIS technologies but he has very limited access or time to see the reports. The reports are prepared by another person who has very limited knowledge about the technology. As a result, the prospect of this vast technology is overlooked. Again, the scope of using GIS technology is very vast. As mentioned earlier, location and GIS is related to each other. Thus any organizations working with location data can use this vast technology to enhance their activities. For example, the banking sector has to work extensively with location. They have to locate their account holders or locate a plot or property if anyone wants to take loans. Again any business organizations can use GIS tools to increase their business in different areas. They can use this tool to take decisions about establishing their advertising boards or choose their routes to supply goods. The GIS technology can also be used to identify future growth of the city and establish new areas to business. In the following discussion, prospects of using GIS technology in banking sector are highlighted. It is not a full study report. There may be many other sides where GIS can be useful for Banks to increase their performance and customer services.

1. Decision regarding sanction of loan- spatial analysis of the plot.

One of the tedious jobs in banking system is to provide loan service for the clients. Banks do so as to enhance their accessibility to the customers. It’s been being a competition among the banks that how a bank is providing these service. In doing so, Banks need some security like some visible property or established business etc. Now where comes the visible property, the GIS also comes there. Banks take mortgage to sanction and specify the amount of loan. In doing such decision, banks have to analyze the property or plot like distance from the main road or size of the plot, verify the actual owner of the plot, current land valuation etc. They are doing these things manually by going to the sites or contact with third party for doing these jobs. This takes at least 30 days to do the jobs and also have to spend a lot of money. It also need a lot of time to make the decision. Yet there is another chance to use the same plots to different banks for loans.

But if they have a GIS database, they could do the followings easily:

o Do the spatial analysis easily with just one click on the computer.

o Calculate the area or distance from main road without going to the site/plot.

o Calculate the land value of the area by analyzing the surrounding area.

o Creating a central database system to prevent the double loan takers utilize same plots.

o Can reduce the investment time by 30 days.

This is a big factor for any banks to reduce their investment time. If they can save 30 days they can have a profit of BDT30-40 lacs (US$42857.14-US$57142.85) per year.

Bank just need the following information for this analysis:

o Plot/property location (address).

o Owner name.

o Plot size (area).

o Distance from the main road.

o Adjacent road width.

o Present land use (specific).

o Land value.

o Information of the plot i.e. past owner, case, previous loan taking condition etc.

o Crime rate of the area.

Many of the data like plot size, distance from the main road, adjacent road width, present land use etc. can be derived from the digitize map of an area. Others are to be collected from the field level survey.

2. Decision regarding establishment of ATM booth.

Now a day’s banking service is increasing rapidly. Every bank is trying to take the services to the customer’s home or offices. ATM is one of them. But to provide an ATM machine to an area, Bank has to think different spatial issues like concentration of commercial land use, concentration of debit/credit card holders of an area, route for taking money to the ATM booth etc. These all can be done easily with a GIS tool.

Decision derived from the map regarding ATM booth:

o Area an ATM serves.

o Factors to establish an ATM.

3. Location of the loan takers.

Bank is now spending a lot of money to locate the account holders or loan takers. They are communicating with their client at regular interval to locate them. This job can be made very easy with GIS as here a loan taker or client can be easily identified in the map. But for this, the database has to be regular updated as this is presently done.

o Present address of the loan takers.

o Change address.

o Distance from the branch and route to the address.

4. Best route of the van to deliver money to the ATM booth/branches.

This advantage is discussed slightly earlier. A bank has to analyze thoroughly to select the delivery route of the van to take money to the ATM booths. They have to think about the security. In GIS, they can do this with creating simple network topology of the existing road and select the best routes to take money.

5. Decision regarding establishment of new branches.

As banking sector is a fast growing field in Bangladesh, many new banks and branches of existing banks are establishing now. They have to take into account different spatial issues to establish a new bank or branch. For example, they have to do the followings things:

o Have a general idea of the area like land value, socio-economic condition etc.

o Locate the commercial land use of the area.

o Locate the bazaar or market area.

o Locate the residential area and business area.

o Locate the existing road network.

All these things can be easily done with a GIS tool by analyzing and querying to extract the data.

6. Decision regarding selection of new investment sites for Banks or clients

Banks can also take decisions to locate or identify new potential sites for new investments through GIS. They can analyze an area with potentiality for economic growth, existing pattern of development and come to a decision whether they invest in that area.

With the GIS database, a bank can do the following:

o Regional analysis to identify profitable location to invest.

o Identify different attraction points of the area.

o Identify the present land use and industry of an area.

Advantages the Bank can get:

o Improve the customer services dynamically.

o Considerable Reduction of the maintenance and processing cost of the Bank.

o Select the best location to establish a new bank or branches.

o Choose the best route for money delivery van.

o Secure the loan process by maintaining the data in central database and share it by online data management process.

o Reduce the head count.

o Database maintenance is very easy and cost is very low.

o Banks can save their investment related inquiry by one months.


In conclusion, it can be said that banks can have lot of advantages by introducing GIS in their daily activities. It can save money, time and manpower which are the target of any business organizations. It is very important to manage the data as there will be a vast amount of data they have to handle. But by establishing a cell or by giving third party the duties to manage and share data, the procedure can be a very profitable for banks or other business organizations.

Source by Md. Bayzid Khan

Ben Wills

I am a professional finance expert and business lover.

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