Digitalisation in the financial sector is necessary to bring unbanked people under the banking system and ensure financial inclusion, bankers and policymakers said yesterday.
“We have to bring our unbanked people to the banking system in order to materialise our dream of a developed nation,” said Md Ashadul Islam, senior secretary of financial institutions division of the finance ministry.
To do so, digitalisation of the financial sector is important.
“The government is also emphasising on it,” he said, adding that at least 70 percent of Bangladesh’s population is still unbanked.
Islam’s comments came in the Mastercard Payment Summit, organised to mark the 28th anniversary of the global payment solutions provider’s presence in Bangladesh.
At the event Mastercard awarded Premier, Prime, United Commercial, National, Eastern, Southeast, Mutual Trust, Brac, City, Dutch-Bangla, Al-Arafah and Dhaka Bank; LankaBangla Finance; Standard Chartered; Bank Asia; bKash; Software Shop; and the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services in many categories.
Standard Chartered, Eastern Bank, Mutual Trust Bank and City got awards in two categories.
It is important to ensure the marginal people get access to financial services, Islam said.
The present government is committed to bringing digitalisation and innovation in every sector, including ICT, financial and payment industry, as a part of its endeavour to build a ‘Digital Bangladesh’.
Cybersecurity will also have to be ensured in the digitalisation process, he added.
Digitalisation is a priority of the government, said Ahmed Jamal, deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank.
“Rapid information and technology bring some challenges and opportunities. We have to find the opportunities and give good services to customers.”
The central bank is giving the highest priority on safety as well as easy technology for promoting digital payment system, he added.
Syed Mohammad Kamal, country manager for Bangladesh at Mastercard, said they are not only the right payment solutions provider to banks but a technology company too that would promote financial inclusion.
“We are working for digitalising government’s subsidy to farmers too,” he added.
Syed Mahbubur Rahman, president of the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh, also spoke at the event.