In a rapidly evolving world of finance, digital banking is making substantial strides, changing the way we access and manage our money. In Bangladesh, this transformation is taking shape as an increasing number of institutions are seeking digital bank licenses. However, a pivotal question arises: is there a skilled workforce in the country to manage these digital banks effectively?
Digital banking, often referred to as “branchless” banking, operates solely through mobile and digital devices, bypassing the need for traditional bank branches. The fundamental idea is to provide customers with 24/7 access to their accounts and financial services via their smartphones or computers. This transition is not merely a trend; it’s a strategic response to changing market dynamics and customer preferences. In essence, digital banks offer unparalleled convenience, cost-efficiency, and a range of innovative features.
Skilled workforce to manage digital banks
Building a skilled workforce to manage digital banks in Bangladesh is a crucial consideration as these banks rely heavily on technology, innovation, and digital platforms. So, is Bangladesh ready to embrace the digital banking revolution with a skilled workforce? Here are some insights into the current state of the workforce and strategies for developing skilled professionals for digital banking:
Leveraging Existing Talent:
The shift to digital banking doesn’t mean starting from scratch. Many conventional banks in Bangladesh have already embarked on the journey to digitization. These banks have established digital banking units and dedicated teams for Digital Financial Services (DFS). These teams consist of professionals experienced in digital banking operations, technology, and financial services. Leveraging their expertise can be a valuable starting point in building the workforce for digital banks.
Training and Development:
Transitioning to digital banking requires the upskilling of existing employees. Training programs focused on digital banking, fintech, and emerging technologies are essential. These programs enable employees to adapt to the demands of the digital banking era. They should encompass not only technical skills but also soft skills, customer service, and effective communication.
Recruitment of Young Talent:
The younger population in Bangladesh is demonstrating a clear preference for digital banking and online transactions. They are already tech-savvy and comfortable with digital platforms. Digital banks can tap into this demographic by recruiting young professionals who can be groomed to become the future workforce for digital banking. The enthusiasm and digital literacy of these individuals make them ideal candidates for roles in the evolving digital banking sector.
Collaboration with Educational Institutions:
To build a skilled workforce, digital banks can collaborate with universities and technical institutes. By establishing internship programs, co-op opportunities, and partnerships, digital banks can facilitate the recruitment of graduates with relevant skills. These programs bridge the gap between academic knowledge and practical experience in digital banking.
Continuous Learning and Adaptation:
The digital banking landscape is dynamic, with emerging technologies and changing customer preferences. To stay competitive and ensure the workforce remains skilled and updated, digital banks should emphasize continuous learning and adaptability. Encouraging employees to stay current with industry trends and technologies is crucial.
Digital banks can also partner with fintech companies, which often have specialized knowledge and expertise in digital finance. These collaborations can facilitate knowledge exchange and skill development among the workforce.
Regulatory Compliance Training:
Digital banks must ensure that their workforce is well-versed in regulatory compliance. Training programs on compliance standards and best practices should be an integral part of workforce development.
To ensure a well-rounded skill set, digital banks should provide cross-functional training. This means that employees should be proficient not only in their specialized roles but also have a basic understanding of other areas within the bank. This knowledge can foster collaboration and flexibility among the workforce.
Given the increasing importance of cybersecurity in digital banking, a strong focus on cybersecurity training is essential. Employees should be well-versed in recognizing and mitigating cybersecurity threats and protecting customer data.
Diversity and Inclusion:
Promoting diversity in the workforce is crucial. A diverse team can bring varied perspectives and ideas to problem-solving and innovation. Digital banks should actively work to foster an inclusive environment that welcomes individuals from different backgrounds and experiences.
Soft Skills Development:
In addition to technical skills, digital banks should invest in the development of soft skills such as communication, critical thinking, and adaptability. These skills are vital for effective customer service and teamwork, especially in a dynamic digital banking environment.
Leadership and Management Development:
Building a skilled workforce also involves developing strong leaders and managers. Leadership training programs can help employees transition into leadership roles and effectively manage teams in the digital banking sector. Effective leadership is key to the success of digital banks.
In conclusion, while Bangladesh is actively working on building a skilled workforce for digital banks, there is an existing pool of talent in conventional banks, and a tech-savvy younger generation to tap into. Training, development, recruitment strategies, collaborations with educational institutions, and partnerships with fintech firms all play essential roles in preparing a skilled workforce to successfully manage and operate digital banks in the country.
As the nation embraces the vision of a “Digital Bangladesh,” the workforce is integral to realizing this dream. With the right approach and investment in developing talent, Bangladesh can successfully navigate the digital banking revolution and create a thriving digital financial ecosystem that benefits both customers and the economy as a whole. The future of banking is undoubtedly digital, and Bangladesh has the potential to lead the way with a skilled and dynamic workforce.