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Islami Bank Bangladesh: Bangladesh is on track to embrace FinTech for sustainable growth – Dr. Salim

“Bangladesh is well on its way to adopting financial technology (FinTech) for sustainable growth,” said Prof. Dr. Md. Salim Uddin, FCA, FCMA, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, Chairman of Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation and Professor of Accounting Department, University of Chittagong. He said this in an “executive development program” organized by the Islami Bank Training & Research Academy (IBTRA) on Saturday April 2, 2022 on the virtual platform. Mohammed Monirul Moula, Managing Director and CEO of the bank, addressed the program as chief moderator. Muhammad Qaisar Ali and Md. Omar Faruk Khan, additional managing directors, addressed the program as invited participants. SM Rabiul Hassan, Principal, IBTRA chaired the program. Deputy General Managers, Chief Risk Officer, CAMLCO, senior executives; Area managers and branch owners have joined the program virtually.

Professor Salim said that the FinTech ecosystem in Bangladesh has grown and is expected to grow in the coming years. The digital financial technology market in Bangladesh is also growing, he added. Bangladesh is lagging behind in terms of using technology to automate and digitize financial activities. According to Light Castle Partners, the FinTech industry in Bangladesh benefits from an unsaturated market teeming with opportunities for cutting-edge and innovative financial services. Despite the growing adoption of the technology, the lack of interoperability remains a major concern hampering the further growth of digital financial services in Bangladesh, he said.

He pointed out that the preparation of infrastructure for access to electricity; mobile network coverage; E-governance and access to digital services are well on the way to achieving sustainable growth in Bangladesh. We need to focus on access to internet connections, quality and speed, affordability of mobile and internet devices to accelerate growth, he added. He emphasized 4 fundamental pillars of digital Bangladesh including infrastructure, human capital, financial and political readiness to face the 4th industrial revolution.

He highlighted the challenges and opportunities of the 4th industrial revolution in the banking and financial sector of Bangladesh. The challenges include security breaches and cybercrime, building trust and increased competition, while the opportunities are improved customer experiences, increased security and efficiency, and flexibility for FinTech. He said that the central bank-CDBC digital currency is growing rapidly across the globe. 87 countries around the world are exploring Government Coins while 7 countries are fully launched. To cope with these changes, we need to focus on AI robots instead of call centers, cashless transactions instead of ATMs, and blockchain to avoid audits. To accelerate sustainable growth, he insisted on bringing 522 million unique mobile phone users globally under FinTech through apps and other platforms.

Professor Salim said we have a high level of government commitment, supporting regulations and guidelines and a digital financial services lab that will help accelerate sustainable growth. He added that IBBL was working in line with government policies which made it a sustainable bank recognized by Bangladesh Bank. He said the global fintech market will reach $32 trillion by 2026 and called on relevant parties to develop and organize a high committee of experts at the institutional and national level to embrace the changes and development.

Mohammed Monirul Moula said in his speech that IBBL is working on the theme of the year “Sustainable growth through FinTech solution”. This bank adopts the latest technologies, he added. He said the bank is working to bring financially disadvantaged people to financial services using FinTech. He called on everyone to take advantage of all of IBBL’s financial services, including modern technology-rich services, the CellFin app and iBanking.