Information and communication technology (ICT) has become the heart of the banking sector, in Bangladesh now a day while banking industry is the heart of every robust economy. ICT helps the banking sector improve the efficiency and effectiveness of services offered to customers, and enhances business processes, managerial decision making, and work group collaborations, which strengthens their competitive positions in rapidly changing and emerging economies.

Now-a- days, Information Technology (IT) has been a boon to banking industry. Banking sector, being the bloodline of the economy of any country, has to achieve efficiency and competitiveness to the highest order to promote and accelerate growth of the economy. All the banks have made substantial investments in technology platform and systems, built multiple distribution channels, including an electronically linked branch network, automated telephone banking, internet banking and banking through mobile phones to offer its customers convenient access to various products. By and large, the banks have been successful in driving the development of innovative product features, reducing operating costs, enhancing customer service delivery and minimizing inherent risks. IT facilitates all our core business processes and components, and serves to support, sustain and grow transformation and the realization of our strategic objectives at group and business unit levels. In Bangladesh, Dutch-Bangla Bank, BRAC Bank and Information Technology Consultants Limited (ITCL) have established their large ATM and POST network all over Bangladesh for providing ATM access for 24 hours to their customers. Besides offering access to their own ATM network across the country, they are also providing the same access to their customers worldwide through the network of VISA/MasterCard. Other banks are also establishing and expanding their own ATM/POST network and they are sharing the ATM networks of the above three companies. Besides expanding the ATM networks, the banks are also giving emphasis on increasing their POST network covering the major outlets for the ease of purchase for the customers. Many banks have installed POS terminals in major shops, hotels, sale center etc. all over the country. Some of the technology driven banks are providing Internet Banking channel with the inclusion of a number of customer friendly features. The systems software is providing the customers access to their accounts from mobile devices like smart phones and tablets.

The customers are now able to do banking from any place of Bangladesh at any time. Mobile banking refers to the access of account, transfer funds, summary sheet and other banking services through dialing one telephone number. In case of mobile banking, the banking services are provided to the customers having the credit card accounts with bank. In mobile banking, the services are provided by the association of banks and cellular service providers through SMS or WAP enabled mobile instruments. And there are many helpful side of ICT and those are Contact/Call Centre, Automated Clearing House System (ACHS), Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT), Online CIB, The Core Banking Solution (CBS), Corporate Intranet System and so on. Customers’ awareness can be increased by counseling, advertising and distributing leaflets/brochures. Specialized training on IT security and fraud prevention can be provided to the employees of banks. Awareness of customers can be increased and proper mobile banking training, highlighting security issues, can be provided by banks for agents. Banks should ensure that KYC forms are filled up and verified appropriately. Auditors of BB should ensure that banks are properly following the MFS guidelines of
BB. Multi-factor/adaptive authentication method can be introduced by banks quickly. Data theft and bypassing OTP can be stopped by increasing morality/ethics of bank employees and increasing internal data security.

MD. SAFAT ISLAM
EAST WEST UNIVERSITY