We remain some ways away from being a truly digital nation
It is encouraging to hear the ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy talking about building Bangladesh into a cashless society, and there is little doubt that this will lead to greater transparency, accountability, and mobility in financial transactions.
Furthermore, with Covid-19 remaining as much a threat as ever, a society that relies less and less on cash and fewer face-to-face transactions is simply a safer society.
To that end, services such as Blaze, Bangladesh’s first instant, 24×7, 365 days cross-border payment network, is a significant step in the right direction and should usher in a new era for financial transactions in the country, especially with regard to our expatriate workers who will now be able to safely send their money instead of going through nefarious, illegal channels.
Ever since the government in 2008 declared its intent to build a “Digital Bangladesh” and increase the focus on digitization and information technology across all sectors in the country, Bangladesh has made significant progress. While the Covid-19 pandemic brought economies to a complete stop, Bangladesh’s economy has fared better than most, and its adoption of digitization in its service delivery is often touted as one of the primary reasons.
However, despite the many strides Bangladesh has taken, we remain some ways away from being a truly digital nation -- this is mostly felt by those in the rural areas, who are still deprived of many of the benefits digital access can give to the people. The authorities concerned realizing the value of a cashless society is a good first step, and we hope that more and more services are introduced to transform Bangladesh into a truly digital nation.