Veon and its Bangladesh subsidiary Banglalink applied for a digital banking licence in the country, a move intended to increase its customers’ access to financial services and step up the group’s growing presence in the fintech sector.

The parent company stated it had submitted the application to the Central Bank of Bangladesh and, if approved, Veon would be able to add fintech offerings to its MyBL app already used by 7.1 million of its 42 million Banglalink subscribers.

Banglalink’s MyBL app offers a range of services promoting digital inclusion, spanning music, gaming, education, ticketing and paying utility bills.

Securing a banking licence will accelerate Banglalink’s expansion into the fintech space and add digital financial services to its portfolio, Veon stated.

Veon already operates fintech services in six countries, serving 21 million customers a month, including offering lending products in some markets.

Erik Aas, CEO of Banglalink, explained Bangladesh is a country of 173 million people where banking services penetration is low and digitalisation would unlock enormous opportunities for the population.

Group CEO of Veon Kaan Terzioglu added it has the expertise and scale to support Banglalink in its drive for “innovation, financial inclusion and digital transformation”.