IFC, Bangladesh Bank sign cooperation agreement to boost digital payment adoption

Bonik Barta Online

Photo: International Finance Corporation

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Bangladesh Bank have formalized a new agreement in order to advance digital finance in Bangladesh.

With the sponsorship of the Australian government, this agreement aims to support Bangladesh Bank in creating a conducive environment for the widespread adoption of digital payments within the country, says a IFC press release on Tuesday.

Through targeted efforts, the IFC-Bangladesh Bank partnership intends to overcome prevailing challenges and pave the way for a more seamless digital payment landscape in Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh economy has reached an inflection point in digital finance with the adoption of mobile financial services and digitalization of banking facilities in the country. The adoption and acceptance of digital payments particularly in small businesses is the next critical step for a drive toward a cashless economy. The project aims to support Bangladesh Bank in issuing new policy to drive digital payment adoption, conduct country-wide outreach programs, and to increase digital payment adoption by 25% by 2027.

Martin Holtmann, Country Manager for Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan at IFC said, “Access to innovative, efficient, affordable, and sustainable financial products is crucial for inclusive growth. This project will successfully harness the power of digitalization to overcome barriers and unlock the full potential of the payment industry creating a foundation for deepening digital financial products beyond payments such as saving, lending, investment and beyond. We are committed to fostering financial inclusion and catalyzing the transition towards a digitally enabled economy in Bangladesh.”

Md Mezbaul Haque, Executive Director and Spokesperson of Bangladesh Bank said, “In order to align our national vision Cashless Bangladesh we want to create an ecosystem where every need for a payment can be done digitally without touching cash. To achieve this goal, we must facilitate digital payments, especially Bangla QR and Taka pay to the doorsteps of every citizen. Bangladesh Bank has a long history of working with IFC, and this project is a continuation of our cooperation.”

Australian Deputy High Commissioner in Dhaka Clinton Pobke said, “The IFC-Bangladesh Cashless Digital Bangladesh project is an important step in Bangladesh Bank’s ambitious agenda to roll out faster, more convenient and secure digital payment technologies. Understanding the prevailing market conditions that hinders the development and adoption of E-payment products presents a huge challenge for regulators seeking to foster innovation, as we know full well from Australia’s own experience with digital transformation. Australia is very proud to support the Bangladesh Bank and IFC in this journey through our Bangladesh Economic Engagement Program (BEEP) Fund. We eagerly look forward to seeing the positive impacts this work will yield for the Bangladesh economy and small businesses, in particular.”

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