The way people are doing bank during the "new normal" amid the Covid-19 pandemic will largely determine the future of banking operations, according to experts.
They said all banks should change their mode of operation from the traditional system to a centralised operation system to fulfil their customers' baking needs during the new normal and after the pandemic.
They added that banks should also focus on some areas to meet customer demand during and after the pandemic to retain their customer base and also to increase brand value.
The views were expressed at the 8th session of the Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) Web Talk Series on Saturday, said a press release.
The session styled "Pandemic and Banking in Bangladesh", held in association with telecom service provider Robi, also discussed the features of the current and post-pandemic circumstances of the ready-made garments industry and its impact on the Bangladesh economy, it added.
BMCCI President Raquib Mohammad Fakhrul gave the welcome speech at the event. He said the country's banking system is now facing unprecedented challenges as the on-going pandemic has kept taking its toll on the economy.
"Economic problems, when they fester and get compounded, affect social cohesion. This new reality is making senior bank executives anxious because the prognosis for the foreseeable future concerning a range of performance metrics, including profitability, liquidity, and capital is not good," he argued.
He added that nowadays banking is much different than it was in pre-pandemic times. Many banks allow their employees to work from home with fourth-generation ITC support through core banking software and well established IT networking, ensuring most of the services through technology-based products and services.
"Some banks are also taking advantage of their well-established centralised banking model during the current situation. However, some banks are facing challenges due to lack of implementation of modern technologies," he noted.
Speaking at the session, Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director and CEO of Mutual Trust Bank Ltd, pointed out that the banking sector is currently struggling hard with non-performing loans, declining margins in a capped interest rate regime, deteriorations in various efficiency indicators, government-directed restructuring of loans, declining demand for loanable funds, etc.
He opined that now is the time for banks to change their mode of operation from the traditional system to a centralised operation system to fulfil customers' baking needs during the new normal and after the pandemic.
"Majority of the banking can be done from home if we are ready to adopt to virtual banking in this pandemic through reducing paperwork, offering individual digital products, by educating customers, implementing electronic signature, electronic transaction and payments, building an interconnected network, electronic channel, digital recording, archive and so on," he said.
He also stressed the need for increasing the withdrawal limit from ATM booths and advised paying installment and credit card bills through mobile banking account.
He hoped these efforts would be highly effective to keep the banks less crowded and safe for both the clients and bankers.
Among others, Syed Moazzam Hossain, former president of the BMCCI; Mahbubul Alam, secretary general of the BMCCI also spoke at the webinar participated by BMCCI members, presidents of leading chambers and associations, bankers, government officials, business leaders, media personalities, and journalists.
BMCCI Treasurer Syed Moinuddin Ahmed conducted the interactive session and facilitated the whole webinar.