Pial Islam


Pial is the Managing Partner of pi Strategy Consulting based in Dhaka.

By Pial Islam


Hiding in Plain Site: Informal E-Commerce Among Women in Asia

Millions of women are buying and selling goods online across Asia — but, at least in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan, they’re not transacting on e-commerce platforms. They’re using social platforms instead, often without digital payments.

Could e-Commerce Bring Women’s Financial Inclusion in Bangladesh?

Closing the financial inclusion gender gap is about more than account access. It’s about making sure accounts unlock real opportunities for women. In Bangladesh, linking mobile money to informal e-commerce could meaningfully advance women’s financial inclusion.

Transitions from OTC to Wallets: Evidence from Bangladesh

Despite being a relative newcomer in the mobile financial services arena, Bangladesh is already making its mark.

Remembering PINs in Rural Bangladesh

Firsthand observations in some of the branchless banking initiatives around the world indicate that poor customers tend to struggle with remembering and correctly entering their personal identification number (PIN) to access and verify transactions in their branchless banking account. The Employment Generation Program for the Poorest (EGPP) conducted research to assess whether and how beneficiaries can be trained to recognize and remember numbers, even if they are illiterate.