Monday, June 17, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Digitization will always pay dividends

It is imperative that more and more such initiatives are not only undertaken, but prioritized

Update : 27 Sep 2022, 12:30 AM

Bangladesh Bank’s new digital platform for foreign exchange transactions is a step in the right direction for a system that was in clear need of change.

It is incredible that until recently, Bangladesh, which deals with about $300 million worth of foreign demand drafts of businesses on average every day, settled these foreign currencies in the traditional “paper-pen” transaction system.

Not only was this cumbersome, but as a result of this archaic system, settling each transaction cost from $5 to $20 earlier -- certainly not very encouraging for our businesses. Moreover, if the foreign demand drafts unexpectedly got lost, banks had to lodge cases with the police and cause suppliers trouble while receiving their funds. 

However, the new digital platform not only helps with transaction costs -- bringing it down to about $1 -- but funds owned by businesses are no longer getting stuck in banks, making for far more efficiency.

Not only that, but such initiatives are also a boost for the overall business sector as a whole, sending the right message to foreign investors as well that we are thinking seriously about fixing what has historically been a less-than-ideal business climate. 

All of this once again points to the power of digitization, and tells us once again that the emphasis on creating a “Digital Bangladesh” some decade and a half back was the right call, yet also tells us that we remain some ways from truly becoming a digital nation.

As such, with Bangladesh’s Vision 2041 and the intention of creating a “Smart Bangladesh” less than two decades away, it is imperative that more and more such initiatives are not only undertaken, but prioritized. 

Bangladesh has significantly ambitious goals to achieve, one of which is its intent to build a cashless society. It is only when all authorities concerned and relevant stakeholders come together and continue identifying and working on implementing the right initiatives and policies will we be able to achieve them.

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