Bankers, fintech professionals urge for open banking policy  

Bankers, fintech professionals urge for open banking policy  

TBS Report

25 August, 2022, 06:40 pm

Last modified: 25 August, 2022, 06:43 pm

Representational Image. Photo: Collected

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Representational Image. Photo: Collected

Representational Image. Photo: Collected

Bankers and fintech professionals suggested introducing application programming interfaces (API) based open banking so that more people can be brought under banking services through better use of technology.

They made the call in a roundtable organised by Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) on Wednesday.

Open and API banking, a new concept that is getting very popular in both developed and developing countries, is reducing the cost of traditional banking and increasing new revenue opportunities for the banks.

In the open banking system, traditional banks collaborate and share data with other banks and fintech companies so that innovative financial services can be introduced faster and cheaper. 

Organised by the BASIS Standing Committee on Fintech, the roundtable was held on 24 August. High officials of 20 leading commercial banks and over 30 fintech entrepreneurs attended the roundtable.

Bangladesh Bank Executive Director Md Khurshid Alam chaired the roundtable. Selim R F Hossain, chairman of Association of Bankers (ABB) was the special guest. 

Bankers and fintech companies urged the central bank to introduce supportive guidelines and required a standardisation process so that banks and fintech companies can share data based on customer consent, ensuring the data privacy and security.

Speakers also emphasised that any financial transaction data is owned by the customer or user. Banks or mobile financial services are only custodian of the data.

If any user wants to share the data to any third party to get any financial services like loans from any other financial organisation, the custodian banks should make provision for that data sharing, said experts. 

Three keynote speakers presented their speeches in the roundtable.

Todd Schweitzer, CEO of Brankas, the leading open banking fintech company in Philippines and Singapore, shared best practices of open banking in the South-East Asian region.

Jayanta K Bhowmick, a senior system analyst of the Bangladesh Bank, gave another keynote on the topics and discussed the possible roadmap of API based open banking in Bangladesh.

Redwan-ul Ansary, CEO of Circle Fintech, gave a presentation on the required policy support for enabling greater partnership between banks and fintech companies.

Chief guest of the programme Khurshid Alam of Bangladesh Bank shared the central bank’s commitment for required policy and regulatory support for open banking in Bangladesh.

He also mentioned that the Central Bank will facilitate new innovation by young fintech entrepreneurs by giving them all kinds of regulatory support. He also advised banks for greater collaboration with local fintech companies. 

Fahim Mashroor, chairman of BASIS Committee on Fintech and CEO of Bdjobs.com, mentioned that open banking is the best way to solve the big problem of low loan disbursement ratio of banks to the MSME segment.

“The problem of high operation cost for banks for MSME loan disbursement and repayment can be solved by open banking based digital lending” he said. 

Head of IT and Digital banking of a number of banks including Brac Bank, UCB, HSBC, Bank Asia, Islami Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, City Bank, Jamuna, bKash, Nagad, Upay and other financial institutions attended the programme and participated on the discussion.   

BASIS President Russel T Ahmed, Vice President Fahim Ahmed along with over 30 BASIS member companies were also present in the roundtable.

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