The "electronic know your customer" (e-KYC) guideline has pushed the digital financial services forward to increase the financial inclusion in Bangladesh, said speakers at a webinar titled "E-KYC: Digital Solution to Accelerate Financial Inclusion" on 18 August.
"The e-KYC plays a vital role in accelerating digital financial inclusion. It facilitates customer authentication and helps to reduce compliance and operational costs for the financial services providers (FSPs)," said Md Masud Rana, deputy general manager of the Bangladesh Bank, while presenting the keynote paper at the webinar.
"It also helps the regulators to ensure financial integrity, while it makes it easier for the clients at the bottom of the pyramid to access formal financial services," said Masud at the webinar organised by Aspire to Innovate (a2i) in association with Nagad and The Business Standard.
Praising the Bangladesh Bank's formation of e-KYC guideline, Sadat Adnan Ahmad, chief commercial officer of Nagad, said as a result of the guideline, it has become possible to reach the marginalised people with financial services.
"The use of mobile financial services (MFS) is rising because of the e-KYC, accelerating the number of banking people in the country. The guideline is also helping to secure data and minimise the chance of any mistake," he said.
Shyamol Boran Das, chief digital officer of Mutual Trust Bank, said, "Bangladesh is moving forward. However, any digital programme needs a robust public infrastructure and a broader awareness venture. Bangladesh has been lagging a little bit behind in this regard."
Md Majidul Haque, head of agent and digital banking of Prime Bank, said, "Through forming the e-KYC guideline, the Bangladesh Bank has made the onboarding solution easy. But still there are some issues in the workflow on our end which we are addressing."
Avijit Nandy, project manager of Porichoy, said, "Currently a competition of providing digital services is taking place among the banks. They are coming up with new apps for the people, making digital banking a big platform."
Subhash Chandra Das, chief financial officer of Sonali Bank, said, "Sonali Bank works for mass banking and has to deal with a wide range of people. Because of the vibrant tool like e-KYC, we are now able to compete with the private banks in providing good banking services."
Meanwhile, the digital National Identity Card (smart NID) is providing a big opportunity for advancing the e-KYC.
In this regard, Akhtaruzzaman, system analyst of Election Commission Secretariat, said, "We have the most secured data centre and we are working to collect people's data continuously with accuracy.
"Currently, we are sharing data to 151 organisations. We have the capacity to serve 200 requests per second but currently we are serving 30 requests. So we are using only 15% of our capacity."
He said, "A bulk of our capacity is still remaining unused, so we can increase our service if needed."
Md Ashraful Alam, general manager of the Bangladesh Bank, moderated the programme.