Dhaka, Bangladesh
Faster digital financial services

Editorial

Faster digital financial services

Digital financial services (DFS), presently, are available even in remote areas and the process is underway to expand the services for developing the financial sector in line with Vision 2021 leading to establish ‘Digital Bangladesh’. The technological manpower and the needed infrastructure have been completed to provide such services. A conference recently brought together policymakers, regulators, local private sector stakeholders and international experts to reflect on Bangladesh’s journey towards promoting digital financial inclusion at the earliest. Experts in the digital technology exchanged their views at ‘Bangladesh Digital Financial Inclusion Conference 2018’ organized by United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) at Bangabandhu Conference Centre. The initiative supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Union, UNCDF hosted the conference in association with Access to Information Programme, BRAC and Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh. A keynote paper presented at the conference said 65% male and 35% female are engaged in using system as agents in banking services. There exists a huge gender gap among mobile money (mobile banking) users in 2017 15% males were mobile money users, whereas only 6% were female. The government has a wider plan to provide more facilities so that the people from all strata of the society can benefit from the technological services. According to experts, elderly people, youth and children have been brought under financial inclusion by a social safety net program. The opening of a bank account with Tk10 will help pave the way for getting services through a digital platform. All financial institutions will also be covered under the digital service by 2021. Digital Bangladesh is no longer a dream, rather it is now a reality and the government has been working seriously on e-governance, development of ICT assets and creating skilled human resources to run the system with an effective manner. Once financial services were available only in Dhaka and Chattogram and the services will cover even remote areas. The number of adult population involved in mobile banking is increasing gradually. The number of adult population using mobile banking was 3% in 2013, while it rose to 18 in 2017. DFS innovation fair explored the digital finance innovation landscape of the country where the digital financial service providers contributed largely. While appreciating the innovative views, we also hope that the authorities concerned will march ahead with full coordination to achieve the goal faster in the best interest of the country.

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