Digitalization in Banking
A Conversation with Dr. Atiur Rahman, Ex-Governor of Bangladesh Bank Regarding the Upcoming Digitalization of the Financial Sector of Bangladesh.
In what direction do you think the financial system is moving towards, in terms of digitalization?
The financial system has become much more digitalized than before. In fact, it was one of the least digitalized sector but now it is one of the most digitized. Previously, the public banks couldn't even dream of digitalized but now 80 to 90% of all activities are digital.
What according to you, is the best aspect of the current digitalization efforts?
The thing which has been very good for us is mobile banking or agent banking. Because of them, the lower end of digitalization has increased. A rickshaw-puller is now also contributing towards a digital financial system. And people who never thought about going to a back, never had the guts to go to a bank are now banking through their pockets. This is the best part of digitalization because this is more inclusive, this is more humane. We are a pioneer in mobile digital financial service provision.
Are there any new financial systems coming into Bangladesh?
Some new systems have begun but they need to be developed further. For example, now there are services available which work in linkage with bank accounts such as iPay and GPAY. These are like WeChat. i-pay is like WePay, one can make transactions from their phones or even computers. iPay should indeed become as good as WePay however more work and development is needed. They have a lot of potential. bKash is ahead of everybody in the race and with their recent access to Alibaba's technology, they can do wonders.
Dr. Atiur Rahman is a Bangladeshi economist, writer and banker. He served as the 10th Governor of Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of Bangladesh. He has also been called "the banker of the poor" for his contribution in developing the Bangladeshi economy