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Thursday, August 7, 2014, Sraban 23, 1421, Shawal 10, 1435 Hijr

BB Governor Talks To The Daily Observer, Banking apps, cashless payments shift banking from bricks to clicks
Faruk Ahmed
Publish Date : 2014-08-07,  Publish Time : 00:00,  View Count : 192
After a tremendous success in mobile payment system, Bangladesh Bank is going to start mobile baking operations within a few days and make sure all transactions with high applications of technologies in real time.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr. Atiur Rahman disclosed this during his exclusive talks with The Daily Observer at his office on Monday. The first of his interview was published in the daily on Tuesday.
Dr. Rahman believes that the introduction of banking apps, cashless payments and futuristic bank branches over the past ten years have pointed to a shift in global banking from bricks to clicks. "And given the pace of new technology and industry convergence, Bangladesh Bank (BB) highlights a few possible future trends in the market', he said.
But at the moment, he sees the primary way of accessing banking in the future will most certainly be through mobile devices of which the uptake is increasing rapidly in Bangladesh.
"All banks will be able to start mobile banking operations very soon with technical support of others. The existing operators of mobile banking system such as Bkash, Qcash will need to obtain licence of Bangladesh Bank as agent banking operator, he said noting that the central bank has already published its policy of agent banking operations.
During the talks, the governor was assisted by Mr. Moniruzzaman Khan, General Manager of Bangladesh Bank and other officials.
A high level committee under the prudent guidance of Mr. Allah Malik Kazemi, the advisor to the governor is now formulating the necessary policy guidelines and other measures to allow banks and others in this potential segment, the BB officials said.   
An appropriate banking environment is considered a key pillar as well as an enabler of economic growth, The central bank already has introduced fast and secure electronic payment systems and e-trading platforms for facilitating financial inclusion and increase transparency.
"During the past, I have motivated banks to increase their participation in inclusive growth. My next effort will be pushing forward the growth momentum making transactions quick, transparent and cost effective with high applications of technologies.
With the support of both public and private entrepreneurs, Dr. Rahman introduced mobile payment system in 2012, which has become a model in South Asia and now south Asian countries like India, Nepal and Sri Lanka are walking on his way to introduce this mobile payment system in their own countries.
"Now people working in urban areas or foreign countries can send their money to their families in remote rural areas and each other within a minute with a simple mobile phone', he said.
Every day more than one hundred crore taka are being transacted through mobile phones, which has increased economic activities many fold and accelerated the growth engine, he added.
There are around 160 million people in Bangladesh, of which only 13 per cent have bank accounts where as more than 95 per cent are mobile phone users. "Now they will be able to deposit their money in their bank accounts as well as withdraw cash through mobile phones", Dr. Atiur Rahman, the pioneer in tecno-based banking in Bangladesh told the daily.
M-banking technology, the latest generation of electronic banking transactions has become one of the most familiar banking features, opened up new window of opportunity to the existing banks and financial institutions. This brings banking facilities in hand's grip which will make life easier, robust and flexible in developed countries.
Immediately after taking the office as the governor of Bangladesh Bank in 2009, Dr. Rahman initiated a 5-year strategic plan for introducing advanced technological applications to deliver services with utmost efficiency. The ultimate goal was to make BB a world-class central bank with high applications of technologies.
Experts say his plan has brought tangible results in the economic front significantly which pushed up the growth generating millions of jobs both in rural and urban areas.
But this plan is facing jolt in banks' treasury rooms driven by technological phobia, rising security concerns and lack of regulatory supports to local initiatives.
For example, the commercial banks have been paying nearly Tk 20 crore worth foreign currency every year to a foreign service provider for using its dealing system in foreign exchange market.
But only a few banks merely make their deals with the platform while most others make their deals over telephone. The situation is more worsen in case of the trading platform for securities market introduced by Bangladesh Bank in 2013.
with the go ahead signal of the BB, a e-trading platform named as DhakaMoney has been developed for transactions call money by a local women entrepreneur's company jointly with the member banks of Primary Dealers. The platform is now connected to Bangladesh Bank and 53 banks and

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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