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ED: The need for digital financial inclusion

  • Published at 03:31 pm August 22nd, 2020
Challenges for our banking sector
Photo: Bigstock

Technology has taken banking to remote parts of the country where brick-and-mortar institutions could never go

In order to achieve a truly Digital Bangladesh, we must, first and foremost, update our financial system to make more and more services available online. In this regard, great strides have been made in the past few years, with many Bangladeshis relying on mobile banking much more than conventional banking services.

In the end, this is better for our economy and society as a whole, as comprehensive financial inclusion is needed for a country to develop. Technology has taken banking to remote parts of the country where brick-and-mortar institutions could never go, and while this has empowered people to a large degree, the job is not over. Going truly digital is a much broader project, and as was recently pointed out at webinar organized by Resurgent Bangladesh Initiative and Deloitte, Bangladesh needs to pay attention to building adequate capacity, digital infrastructure, a risk management framework, effective data analytics, and facilitate regulations.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic which has made person to person contact quite risky, now is the time to focus on digital, more than in previous times. It is no secret that our banking sector has been plagued by innumerable problems in recent times, with experts calling for reform but very little being done in reality. Going digital, while it will not solve anything, will certainly go a long way towards phasing those inefficient and outdated practices in banking which no longer work and no longer serve a purpose.

The mark of a developed nation is an easy, accessible, secure digital financial system. This year, we should direct our resources towards that goal.

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