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Digital banking to be more convenient, secured

Published : 24 Oct 2023 10:38 PM

Digital banking in Bangladesh would make banking more secured, convenient and sustainable, experts in the sector said.

Exclusively sharing their views, experts welcomed the latest decision of the central bank to allow digital banking in the country. They stressed building trust and proper security measures by the players for establishing a sustainable digital banking platform. 

Eminent Economist and Executive Director of Policy Research Institute (PRI) Dr Ahsan H Mansur said that digital banking is the demand of time and it has demands and prospects as increasing number of people are now using smart phone apps and wallets for different banks for online transactions.

He said that now the banks have to work to build trust first among their clients. They will also have to focus on investing in upgrading digital software and hacking protection. So that a strong digital banking platform could be launched.            

‘Banking sector is suffering from lack of good governance,’ Dr Mansur added saying that digital banking process does not get frustrated because of the lack of good governance". 

Md. Touhidul Alam Khan, FCMA, a professional serving as the Additional Managing Director & Chief Credit Officer at The Premier Bank PLC, expressing his views on the prospects of digital banking said that the upcoming digital banks in Bangladesh hold the potential to significantly advance financial inclusion, enhance banking convenience, and streamline operational costs.

"However," he continued, "embarking on this journey into the digital banking landscape presents us with an array of intricate challenges. These challenges encompass the need to reinforce cyber security measures, educate our customers about the nuances of digital banking, refine the existing regulatory frameworks, strengthen digital infrastructure, and cultivate trust in these modern financial institutions."

Khan emphasized that "Successfully addressing these challenges is absolutely vital to fully unlock the myriad benefits that digital banking can bring to Bangladesh."

Bangladesh Bank has given initial approval to eight companies to launch next-generation virtual banking services including Nagad and Kori, to launch digital banking.

Sources said a 10-bank consortium, BRAC Bank’s bKash and Bank Asia won’t need separate licenses to offer digital bank services

Two of them, mobile money company Nagad and ACI-owned Kori Digital Plc, will need a license to offer the new services.

The central bank’s board of directors on Sunday decided to send letters of intent to Nagad and Kori for the licenses.

The others – Digi10 Bank Limited, a consortium of several banks, BRAC Bank’s bKash Digital Bank, and Bank Asia’s Digital Bank Limited – will not require separate licenses to open digital banks because they are already in the banking business

Bangladesh Bank spokesman Mezbaul Haque said these three organisations will be able to operate digital banks by opening new wings.

Bangladesh Bank will issue new guidelines which they will have to follow in running the digital banking operations.  

A total of 52 applications were submitted by separate companies and consortiums for digital banking licences in August. Bangladesh currently has 61 scheduled banks.