The Financial Express

a2i, UNCDF, MSC launch FinLab BD for sustainable pro-poor growth

| Updated: November 07, 2021 16:58:30

a2i, UNCDF, MSC launch FinLab BD for sustainable pro-poor growth

Access to Information (a2i) Programme, UNCDF and MSC have launched the Financial Innovation Lab Bangladesh (FinLab BD) to serve the low and moderate-income populations of Bangladesh by advancing sustainable pro-poor growth.

State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak inaugurated the FinLab BD at a programme on Sunday, according to a press release.

Deputy Governor of the Bangladesh Bank Ahmed Jamal, Policy Adviser of a2i Anir Chowdhury and Regional Coordinator Asia of UNCDF Maria Perdomo attended the event as special guests. Project Director (Joint Secretary) of a2i Dr Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir chaired the event.

In his address at the event, Zunaid Ahmed Palak said “FinLab Bangladesh will enhance financial inclusion through technology and a digital-first approach to help us reach our goals even faster.”

“The collaboration will be crucial for the success of the lab. As startups, industry experts, financial service providers, regulators, investors, and donors come together, we can collectively contribute to our realising the vision of the financially included digital Bangladesh,” he said.

Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank Mr Ahmed Jamal said, “Bangladesh Bank has built a safe, secure and efficient payment ecosystem of the country to align the payment system with the goal of digital Bangladesh and also to monitor and supervise from the central point. Bangladesh Bank will provide full support to FinLab.” 

Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor of a2i said, “We have conceptualised UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and MSC (MicroSave Consulting) to create an innovation lab that focuses exclusively on enhancing financial inclusion of low and moderate-income people.”

The panel discussion on “How FinTech startups and incumbents can play a role in improving the financial health of the LMI segment of Bangladesh” was held after the inaugural function.

Maria Perdomo, Regional Manager for Asia, Inclusive Digital Economies at ‎UNCDF; Anil Kumar Gupta, Partner at MSC; Director-Asia of MetLife Foundation Krishna Thacker; Country Manager-Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan-of VISA Soumya Basu; Co-founder and COO of Sheba Platform Limited Ilmul H Sajib and CEO of UpaySydul Haque Khandaker was present as the panellists.

Managing Director of MSC Manoj K Sharma moderated the panel discussion. Programme Manager-Digital Access & Digital Financial Service of a2i Md. Tohurul Hasan conducted the panel discussion.

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