Articles by Jakirul Islam
Opportunity or Threat: Are Healthy Partnerships Possible Between Digital Financial Services and Microfinance Institutions in Bangladesh?
Microfinance institutions in Bangladesh reach over 32 million customers with a loan portfolio of around US $9 billion. According to Jakirul Islam at Bank Asia, partnerships with digital financial services (DFS) could benefit both microfinance and DFS providers and their customers – but these partnerships are not functioning at their full potential. He shares four key benefits that are driving interest in these collaborations, and explores their inherent challenges – and some partnership models that could address them.
COVID-19 has fast-tracked the adoption of innovative tools and technologies by the global banking sector. As Jakirul Islam at Bank Asia points out, this has already led to an increase in digital banking, as customers move away from branch-based banking due to pandemic lockdowns. He explores some popular features of digital banks, and discusses their potential impact in Bangladesh.
The Game-Changing Potential of a Regulatory Sandbox: Why Creating a Safe Space for Digital Innovation Is a Necessity for Financial Inclusion in Bangladesh
While Bangladesh has made notable progress in accelerating financial inclusion, around 50% of Bangladeshis still remain unbanked. As Jakirul Islam at Bank Asia points out, this highlights a need for more technological disruption – and more regulatory innovation. He explores the potential of a “regulatory sandbox” approach, in which the government provides a safe harbor for businesses to test inventive new products, services and business models.