Credit for low- and moderate-income people in Bangladesh—can new-age banks and FinTechs deliver the regulator’s wish?
The waves of digitization and technological advancements have led to the opening of MFS accounts for 60% of the population in Bangladesh. The country now boasts more than 1.1 million agents. Despite the widespread use of MFS and internet access, only 9.1% of people access the formal credit system. Digital credit can be a stepping-stone in Bangladesh due to the lower cost of delivering credit through digital means, combined with the mass digital readiness of consumers. Several solutions have emerged from banks, NBFIs, FinTechs, MFSPs, MFIs, and development partners, such as City Bank’s “Nano Loan” product pilot to Prime Bank’s loan product for blue-collar workers. Together, stakeholders are trying to forge partnerships to address problems around access to credit and social development in Bangladesh.
COVID-19 and FinTechs in Bangladesh—impact and resilience
The COVID-19 pandemic had a pronounced effect on FinTechs in Bangladesh. MSC sought to evaluate the extent of this impact, given our partnering role in the DFS and FinTech ecosystem in the country. MSC conducted this landscape study on FinTechs with support from Visa in 2021. This report defines the impact of COVID-19 on FinTechs and identifies the possible way forward.
2020 was a nightmare for Bangladesh. Even though the country responded swiftly, early-stage start-ups struggled with a lack of funding during the crisis. This study assesses the impact of COVID-19 on the FinTech ecosystem of Bangladesh. It further explores how the new digital-first policy helped FinTechs cope with the pandemic.