Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder on Thursday said they are relentlessly working to complete the procedures to launch digital bank very soon aiming to enhance access to banking services for the country’s people.
“Digital bank will help reduce risks in the financial sector by providing paperless financial services,” he said while speaking at a seminar titled “Banking and Professional Services: Enhancing Access” at InterContinental hotel in Dhaka.
The Commonwealth Trade and Investment Council organised the seminar on the concluding day of a two-day Commonwealth Trade and Investment Forum, Bangladesh 2023.
The central bank governor also said, “In terms of conventional loan disbursement, verifying documents consumes time and creates risks sometimes. There will be no risk as the credit rating will be virtually in digital bank. The customers’ digital transactions will be considered as proof of their financial capability.”
“The majority of the country’s population has already got involved in mobile financial service (MFS). When digital bank will be introduced properly in the country, it will actually help them and the remaining population will benefit from the banking system digitally,” he added.
“But one thing we are lacking is credit scoring or credit bureau which we have yet to develop. Once digital bank is introduced, rural people will also be included in the banking system,” he said.
Though MFS is very popular nowadays, loans cannot be taken through it. Therefore, the central bank is set to launch digital bank, he added.
Replying to a question, he said less than 30 per cent of the total population does not have access to traditional banking systems, including credit, and deposits. “So, the solution could be a digital bank.”
Standard Chartered, Mauritius CEO Abrar A Anwar said that the concept of 'banking as a service' has now gained momentum for global financial inclusion where startups and other technology-based platforms are providing services by verifying the customer's identity.
Issues of removal of barriers to accessing the formal banking system and how a greater number of businesses can be transitioned from the ‘grey economy’ also came up at the seminar for discussion.
PWC Bangladesh Managing Director Mamun Rashid, Crown Agents Bank Officer Steven Marshall, Charlton managing partner Julia Charlton and Banctrust Executive Director Isil Caglayan also spoke on the occasion.