The year 2021 was a landmark year for Bangladesh as we celebrated 50 years of our Independence. This historical moment converges with great achievement of country’s economic and social progress. We have graduated from LDC and now on the path of becoming a middle income country. Over the last five decades, banking sector has grown and evolved and contributed significantly for country’s economic development. For the last 2 years, the COVID-19 pandemic has created obstacles and many challenges for us. Along with others, the bankers have shown commendable courage and resilience while providing services to our customers defying all the threats and odds of the pandemic.
In the year 2022, I hope that the banking sector will continue its efforts to support the entrepreneurs and business community to rebuild the economy. We are committed to implement the second phase of government stimulus packages to help the clients to absorb the shock of pandemic. Along with the large manufacturing and service sector clients, we will provide much needed support to the MSME and agricultural sectors.
One of the positive impact of the pandemic is that it has accelerated digitization of many process and services in banks. We have witnessed a rise in digital payment, digital lending and e-kyc based digital account opening etc. App-based digital micro-merchant payments channel is another excellent innovation which is helping towards building a complete digital banking ecosystem for the rural economy. I believe that the pace of digitization and innovation will continue in 2022 as well. In 2022, we are going to roll out AI based Voice Banking service for Bank Asia customers. With simple voice command on cellphone, our customers will be able to hear transaction and product information and execute transactions like fund transfer, bills payment, mobile top up etc. The is serviced can be enjoyed on feature phone and internet connectivity or smartphone is not required. Voice banking is set to be another revolution in banking industry which will make banking service much easier and thereby more accessible to the mass people.
The year 2022 marks the beginning of post-golden jubilee era for our country. We will work with firm commitment to make banking and financial services more affordable and accessible to all section of people. I strongly believe that this goal can be achieved through digital transformation, automation and innovation. In this new era, inclusive and sustainable banking will play key role for building a developed and inclusive economy in our country. With this spirit and optimism I wish Happy New Year 2022 to all!
Md. Arfan Ali
President & Managing Director
Bank Asia Limited