Mr. Mir Tariquzzaman is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of IDLC Finance Limited. He joined IDLC in April 1995 as Management Trainee. He has been in his current role since July 2007. Responsible for establishing and managing a dynamic IT Infrastructure of IDLC Group. Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) under the University of Dhaka.
Our digitalization strategy evolved with concept of Customer Centricity in the middle. We have a two pronged approach to achieve this; one is to automate back-office processes to shorten turnaround time, make most of the activities (if not all) traceable, and make relevant areas accessible from anywhere and any device. The second is to empower our customers through digitalization. Customers can access related information and request services from his/ her mobile device. Thus, our customers will become independent and will be able to take decision and/or act from anywhere.
We have introduced workflow-based solution to automate our back office processes. The physical processes are replaced with this software-driven digital processing engine. Some of key features of this platform are rule based processing, parallel activities, digitized document, etc. This platform has reduced processing time drastically and our customers are already starting to get benefits from this initiative. This, also, has increased our processing capacity as a result we are now able to design smaller ticket products, e.g. affordable housing scheme. We are also taking advantage of mobile apps integrated with this platform.
As I have said before, our objective is to empower our clients through mobile apps, portals, websites, etc. This will ensure that we are always at the side of our customers. Customer will “pull” information as and when they require and at the same time “push” activity and service request whenever necessary. We also have FAQ kind of post service. We are also working along with our Marketing & Communication team to implement chat-bot, (preferably, in Bangla) in Internet space. We are confident to reach and serve a maximum number of people with these solutions.
Security has to be designed grounds up and has to be an integral part of all technology implementations and should be well documented. We have security policy in place which is reviewed and updated periodically to keep abreast of today’s dynamic technology world. Every implementation whether it is a simple hardware or large software, must comply with this security policy. Our approach to managing technology security is both insideout and outside-in. Access level review and monitoring, inbound and outbound Internet traffic monitoring, database access monitoring etc. are some of the tasks of our dedicated technology security team.
Inbound data traffic passes through intelligent firewalls. IDS, and multiple scanners before it can reach the core network. Thus, probability of someone or something hacking into the core network is very low. Moreover, the data center is in another protected layer to ensure further safety of customer data.
Blockchain could be an important technology to consider for financial institutions of Bangladesh. The level of data integrity offered will be the key point of attraction, benefit of which can be passed on to the customer. If implemented properly, blockchain will boost up customer confidence in digital transaction.
Regulators must open up more towards technology. We have some robust databases, e.g.; CIB, NID, etc. under our regulators but data retrieval process from these databases is archaic. These platforms should have API interfaces available so that financial institutions can directly connect their systems. This kind of initiatives will lead to solutions like eKYC & CIB Score.
Opening up cloud computing for the financial institutions is another issue that regulators must look into. Setting up relevant and compliable policy for availing these services should be in place. This will enable organizations to get access to technology that may otherwise be not possible.
Regulators should also consider Tax rule, offshore payment issues, etc., related with technology import. These should be the aligned and/or simplified with the technology vision of Bangladesh. On the other hand, we also should extend our hand to our regulators.
The global banking sector faced a new wave of change when the news of AntFinancial, Tencent and Xiaomi Corp. won virtual banking license in Hong Kong. Mobile cash is catching on in the world’s less advaced economies, in some cases, leapfrogging traditional banking. M-Pesa (Kenya) and Telenor Microfinance Bank (Pakistan) have set example of how unbanked citizens increasingly use phones to connect to the digital economy.
Modern digital technology has disrupted this legacy banking model on all levels, starting from enhancing customer experience to bring agility in the credit operation to streamlining back-office related activities, by simply leveraging on customer data. In a world where “data is king”, the cutting-edge technological inventions transformed the aura of banking services in the past two-three years. In India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and SBI are now deploying big data to customer profiling, collaborating with e-wallets to make the payment system more convenient, putting analytics into play in creating loan scorecards and gradually partnering with fintechs to leverage their technology for superior customer experience.
Bangladesh, albeit trailing far behind from neighboring India when innovation in banking service is in question, however, started making strides. The top banks of Bangladesh are showing an interesting trend in the commitment of organizational leadership for offering digital banking services. Few initiatives by local banks for instance, coming up with paperless e-loan for individual purpose, implementing blockchain technology (pilot basis) for trade finance, partnering with e-wallet (iPay and bKash) and so forth. Although regulatory challenge, for instance, eKYC is still there, the good news is it is being addressed from policy level. It is time regulators should undertake more “digital-friendly” initiatives so that local banks start putting data and technology into play to provide one-stop, paperless and on-the-go banking solution to its customers.Download View