Joint Learning Programme on Digital Financial Services,
Organized by AFI in collaboration with Bangladesh Bank
Monday, 4 December, 2017
Dhaka, Bangladesh

Opening Remarks by S.K. Sur Chowdhury, Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank

Good Morning, Everyone!

Honorable Deputy Executive Director of AFI, Mr. Norbert Mumba; Esteemed participants from different countries, heartfelt welcome to Bangladesh! Hope you have had a safe flight and enjoyable stay here in Dhaka.

With digital financial services, payments are direct, secure and recorded. They take virtually no time at all and require very little overhead compared to brick-and-mortar banks and hands-on transactions. Digital financial services help citizens be more productive as well. They can accept wages, pay bills, share money with family and perform numerous other transactions at will, using their mobile phones or computers.

New digital technologies are a game changer for financial inclusion, opening up access to financial services for all sectors of society, and in the process helping dispel myths about financial inclusion. Financial inclusion matters to economic growth. Having access to financial services means that people can make payments, get credit, save and invest. This contributes to increased spending on goods and services and creates a virtuous cycle where more consumption translates into increased production, more jobs, higher incomes, and greater economic prosperity. However, providing access to financial services involves much more than simply helping people open a bank account.

Thus, financial sector need to be more concerned about Fintech is broadly defined as any technological innovation in financial services. Very clearly, ten competitive technology driven influencers for next five years will be like:

  • FinTech will drive the new business model
  • The sharing economy will be embedded in every part of the financial system
  • Blockchain will shake things up
  • Digital becomes mainstream
  • ‘Customer intelligence’ will be the most important predictor of revenue growth and profitability
  • Advances in robotics and Artificial Intelligence will start a wave of ‘re-shoring’ and localization
  • The public cloud will become the dominant infrastructure model
  • Cyber-security will be one of the top risks facing financial institutions
  • Disruptive innovation, Regtech, Insurtech, Initial coin offering will be center of focus.
  • Regulators will have to concerned about technology as well each of these themes is likely to affect financial services companies and their leadership teams in far-reaching ways.

In Bangladesh, 7th Five Year Plan of Government of Bangladesh clearly evidences that GoB envisions increasing access to financial services through digitization and automation. Following this, GoB intends to make all G2P payments in digitized form. Bangladesh Bank already has taken steps to move towards for implementing GoB’s vision. To reach the next mile of financial inclusion, the scope of digitization in payments and transactions needs to be widened. In our country, following MFS, BFETN, RTGS and Agent Banking, next phases will focus on the micro-merchant payments and retail-transport payments. And, to keep the march forward sustainable, concentration on risk management and financial education is inevitable. Moreover, digitization will be the core pillar of our upcoming National Financial Inclusion Strategy.

This Joint Learning Program will be a both-way learning and experience sharing platform for all here. We will project the experiences of Bangladesh and we'l hear from you to learn from your experiences. DFS is an evolving and dynamic issue all over the world. For last few years, risk management in DFS has been very critical in many aspects. Hopefully, this issue will be discussed extensively through whole training program.

I am thankful to BB team under coordination of Executive Director as well as the AFI team for their astounding effort to make this event happening. We are honored to host AFI event in our country for the first time. AFI has been facilitating innovative policy making for its member countries through peer experience sharing. JLP of the those endeavors. We are hopeful that BB's engagement with AFI will be more extensive by the passage of time.

I'l not make it longer.  Hope you'l have a memorable stay in Bangladesh. Please feel free to ask for any support/assistance to our rapporteurs.

Before finishing, digitization has always two alternative paths- it democratizes both efficiency and inclusion, on the other hand, it creates new dimension of divide and disparity. So, it’s our choice which path we’ll choose.

Thank you all!

At this point, I declare BB-AFI Joint Learning Programme 2017 on Digital Financial Services formally open.


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