Despite the ongoing global digital transformation, where smartphones have become increasingly accessible to a larger population, Bangladesh remains significantly behind in embracing this digital shift. While the number of internet users worldwide has surpassed 5.18 billion, only a mere 31.5 percent of Bangladesh’s population currently utilises the internet.

To prepare itself for a digital-first future, Bangladesh needs to take strategic and concerted efforts in several areas. How can it achieve this feat?

Paving the way for branchless banking operations in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is one such country at the forefront of embracing digital banking to foster economic growth and promote financial inclusion actively. With a recent decision to adopt digital banking, the country aims to reshape and streamline daily financial activities, ultimately benefiting society as a whole.

Bangladesh’s central bank is on its way to approving a framework for establishing digital banks under the country’s plan to transform into a cashless society. This framework would also help nudge the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) (established in June 2022, in action till June 2026).

Bangladesh envisions a future where individuals and businesses can access financial services, conduct transactions, and manage their finances through convenient digital platforms. This shift towards digitalization opens up new avenues for financial inclusion, enabling people from all walks of life to participate actively in the economy.

Adopting digital banking in Bangladesh could revolutionise the traditional banking system. It eliminates the need for physical branches, reducing overhead costs and enabling financial institutions to reach a wider customer base. This broader reach ensures that even remote areas and underserved communities can benefit from convenient and secure financial services.

The move towards digital banking in Bangladesh is a strategic step toward building a robust and inclusive financial ecosystem. It empowers individuals with greater control over their finances and stimulates economic growth by promoting entrepreneurship, investment, and innovation. Bangladesh lays the foundation for a more resilient and prosperous society by simplifying and modernising financial activities.

Ways customers can leverage digital banks in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is on its way to initiate digital banks in the country as a step in the Smart Bangladesh Journey. Here’s what individuals and businesses can expect:

Overcoming challenges & operating a digital bank that yields the expected ROI

Adopting a branchless end-to-end virtual banking system can significantly propel the banking sector by extending its reach to the farthest corners of the country. This expansion brings numerous benefits, including creating employment opportunities, ensuring economic and financial stability, and establishing a robust financial ecosystem for the nation.

Bangladesh Bank’s commendable efforts to create a cashless environment deserve recognition. However, it is crucial to acknowledge the challenges that accompany these endeavours. Some key challenges currently facing these efforts are inadequate digital infrastructure, limited internet accessibility, security and trust concerns, a diffident regulatory landscape, and problems with customer awareness and acceptance.

In addition to the latest framework for digital banks, Bangladesh has immense prospects for digital banking due to its substantial and expanding population of mobile phone users and a rising internet penetration rate. This indicates a vast pool of potential customers for digital banks to tap into.

How can banks leverage this?

The Government of Bangladesh no longer thinks digital banking is a ‘nice-to-have.’ If anything, they are looking at leveraging digital banking capabilities to advance their digital transformation and meet their National Financial Inclusion Strategy.

With all eyes on Bangladesh, one crucial question emerges:

How can Bangladeshi banks deliver intelligent and intuitive digital banking solutions to their customers?

Clayfin, with its expertise in digital banking solutions, stands as a valuable partner for both new and traditional banks in Bangladesh, enabling them to provide seamless, fast, and intuitive digital banking experiences to Bangladeshi customers within the context of the new digital banking framework.

With Clayfin’s advanced technology and comprehensive suite of digital banking solutions, banks can effectively navigate Bangladesh’s evolving landscape of digital banking. We offer a range of features, including user-friendly interfaces, secure transactions, and hyper-personalised customer experiences.

Clayfin’s solutions are designed to align with the new digital banking framework in Bangladesh, especially enabling NBFIs (Non-banking financial institutes), who are currently in the centre and front to get their digital banking licence, to adhere to regulatory requirements and best practices.

In Bangladesh’s rapidly evolving digital banking landscape, Clayfin serves as a reliable partner, equipping banks with the tools and capabilities to stay competitive and meet the growing demands of Bangladeshi customers. By leveraging Clayfin’s expertise, new and traditional banks can successfully embrace the opportunities presented by the new digital banking framework and offer a seamless, fast, and intuitive digital banking experience to customers across Bangladesh.

Subhranil Mazumdar

Subhranil Mazumdar has almost a decade of inside sales and account management expertise. He is Clayfin's Regional Sales Head for India and Southeast Asia. His commitment to helping clients grow their businesses and meet their goals and his broad knowledge of technical tools has resulted in multiple successful project executions.

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