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Webinar series to discuss digital credit for Covid-19 economic recovery

  • Published at 03:18 pm June 4th, 2020
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Launched by a consortium of private and public sector leaders, the webinar series will assess the scope, challenges and policy implications for digital credit

Digital credit has received increasing attention globally, because it can unlock financing for cottage, micro and small enterprises as well as other underserved segments. 

These segments are among the largest contributors to GDP and employment. They are also traditionally unbanked segments, far outside of the purview of formal financial services and, unfortunately, hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In Bangladesh, the government’s stimulus announcements have been timely and well considered. However, several stimulus initiatives entail government-subsidized loans to be disbursed by commercial banks. Stakeholders are concerned about implementation of stimulus packages, especially for micro and small enterprises, since they are often lacking bank accounts, financial data footprint or even collateral. 

Digital credit can fill this critical gap, by allowing loans to be underwritten, processed, and delivered digitally. Recipients can receive loan disbursements into their mobile wallets.

Given this backdrop, the Digital Finance Forum Bangladesh (DFFB), a platform for digital finance and fintech professionals, along with the ULAB EMBA program, Digital Frontiers Institute of South Africa and the Access to Information (a2i) program of Bangladesh government, has launched a webinar series titled “Digital Credit for Covid-19 Economic Recovery.’’ 

Dhaka Tribune is the media partner of the webinar series, Knowledge Factory is the advisory partner, and AS & Associates the legal partner. 

The goal of the webinar series is to assess the scope, challenges and policy implications for digital credit. The series will feature leaders from commercial banks, NBFIs, MFIs, startups, NGOs, FMCG Companies, and various government agencies, e.g. the Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh Bank, MRA, ICT Division, SME Foundation, etc. The series will have six episodes.

The episodes are open to all and free of charge. Details such as dates and the Zoom link are available on the Facebook Pages of DFFB and ULAB EMBA program.

The findings from the series will be used to develop a policy paper intended to create a sustainable and pragmatic roadmap for actualizing digital credit across sectors. 

The first episode features leadership at Brac Bank, Bank Asia, UN Capital Development Fund, Pran-RFL Group, SME Foundation, Pathao, Sheba.XYZ, and ShopUp.

The DFFB started its journey in 2017 and currently has over 1,000 professionals from commercial banks, NBFIs, MFS providers, multinationals, local corporates, NGOs, Bangladesh Bank, and other regulatory agencies. 

Sajid Amit is associate professor at ULAB, and director of ULAB EMBA program

Mohammad Rashed, CDFP, is convener at Digital Finance Forum Bangladesh 

Oliur Rahman Tarek is research associate at the Center for Enterprise and Society, ULAB.