UNCDF SHIFT took part in 5th Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management Annual Banking Conference
The Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM) recently hosted its 5th annual event that discussed the importance of opening digital pathways and the roles that real economy actors can play in advancing formal financial inclusion and women economic empowerment. The conference has been held every year since 2012 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The objective of the annual event hosted by the Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management in Dhaka is to foster dialogue, showcase new research and inform relevant actors in the field on the positive contributions that can be made through partnerships with those within the digital financial services (DFS) community to move closer towards the goal of full financial inclusion.
The panel at this discussion featured Mr. Anir Chowdhury (Access to Information), A.K.M. Shirin (Dutch-Bangla Bank), Mr. Mohiuddin Siddique (BIBM) and Dr. Ana Klincic Andrews (UN Capital Development Fund) as guest panelists.
Among the panel discussions that covered an array of issues, Mr. Anir Chowdhury highlighted the importance of government-to-person (G2P) payments in advancing financial inclusion and placed a large emphasis on understanding users’ experiences with DFS. This was further echoed by Dr. Ana Klincic Andrews’ theme on the importance of going the extra mile to discover the clients’ true needs in the field of DFS by highlighting the importance of business-to-business (B2B) payments and financing models that are particular to the retail merchant system. She further advocated for greater client centricity in research and practice through practical retail merchant ecosystems as the key enablers. Given the significant money circulation through the private sector, every B2B relationship can play a vital role in the DFS space.
Mr. Mohiuddin Siddique added to the dialogue by pointing to the importance of increasing academic interest in the field of research in DFS. Lastly, Mr. A.K.M. Shirin capped off the event by underlining that in a market where 78 percent of the population uses over-the-counter (OTC) methods for financial transactions, there is a potentially large barrier to broadening financial inclusion in DFS since accounts offer pathways to accommodate a range of financial services. Mr. A.K.M. Shirin ended his segment by speaking about the tailoring of DFS products to a particular market area and showcased that such approaches lead to higher customer satisfaction.
UNCDF SHIFT took part in participating in an informative panel discussion on “Financial Inclusion and Digital Financial Services (DFS),” attended by more than one hundred people from various banking and financial sectors in Bangladesh. The event was organized by UNCDF SHIFT in partnership with BIBM. The panel discussion took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh between 4-5 December 2016. The conference covered contemporary issues on banking, finance and the economy, both in the national and international context. Participants included international experts, academics, researchers and financial actors that exchanged and shared insights on the latest research outputs on banking and finance and its relation to financial inclusion, DFS and development.
At the discussion’s close, Deputy Governor Mr. Shitangshu Kumar Sur Chowdhury concluded by reaffirming the points raised by panel members, emphasising the importance of proper regulation to accelerate DFS and ensuring the security of its customers. As the panel chair remarked, “Financial Inclusion via digital means is very important to expanding financial services in Bangladesh.”