The country’s banks will not be able to sustain in the upcoming days without digitalisation because they will not be able to take their services to everyone through manual banking, says the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB).
The banks that are not investing in digitalisation will not survive in the long run, ABB Chairman Selim RF Hussain said at a press conference at the Digital Transformation Summit at Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka on Thursday.
The two-day summit, organised by ABB, was inaugurated by chief guest Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder on Wednesday.
Selim said that DBS, the world’s top bank, now has double the number of software engineers than bankers as employees due to digitalisation. “This is a modern bank.”
“The banking sector was manual 10 years ago but now most of our products are digital. The foundation of Digital Bangladesh is ready and now we have to go for the next steps,” he said.
The banking sector has played a vital role to build Digital Bangladesh and the Digital Transformation Summit is aligning with the government’s target to build Smart Bangladesh, he said.
The country’s banks will have to reach the next level in digitalisation to support Smart Bangladesh, the ABB chief added.
Replying to a question, he said, “The US is a big trade partner. We don’t think that our economy and the banking sector would face any negative impact in the short term due to the new US visa policy introduced for Bangladesh.”
Selim, also the managing director of BRAC Bank, said, “If our credit rating impacts negatively due to any reason, it will impact our economy. When the banks’ credit rating falls, we have to expend extra fees and charges for foreign trade.
“But when the country’s image remains good, the credit rating improves and our cost declines.”
He also said that foreign trade, export and import are vital components of the country’s economy. “And we are heavily partnering with multilateral institutions and other foreign intuitions [in this regard].”
The two-day Digital Transformation Summit brought together around 150 participants from Bangladesh’s 46 commercial banks.