VISA, MasterCard, Amex take away Tk37cr from Bangladesh in 4 years

Bangladesh must establish its own payment scheme for local credit
and debit card transactions to prevent the outflow of money to global
payment services, finance sector insiders have said.
International payment services like VISA, MasterCard and American
Express (Amex) earned about Tk37 crore in charges for credit card
transactions from Bangladesh between 2013 and 2016, as the country
does not have a national payment scheme.
It is estimated that they will earn an additional Tk12.92 crore by the
end of 2017.
These charges are not taken from the card users directly; rather, they
are paid by merchants who use point of sale (POS) machines to
receive payments from customers.
“Bangladesh needs an electronic payment service of its own to help us
stop the outward movement of a huge amount of revenue from the
country,” said Khaliqdad Khan, a certified smart card industry
professional (CSCIP) and adviser of South Korea-based smart card
producing firm, Kona I.
“Introducing a national payment scheme – similar to RuPay of India,
SAMA of Saudi Arabia and Elo of Brazil – can help to reduce the
outward flow of revenues to a great extent.”
There are currently around 1,080,000 active credit cards in
Bangladesh, while the number of active debit cards is 10,570,000,
according to sources at Bangladesh Bank.
International payment services charge 0.3% of the purchase amount
for each credit transaction on POS machines, and 0.1% for each debit
For online transactions via e-commerce platforms, the charges are
even higher: 0.7% for credit cards and 0.3% for debit cards.
“Besides counting charges for each financial transaction, payments
have to be made to get VISA, MasterCard and Amex certifications, as
well as their annual renewal charges,” added Khaliqdad Khan.
The central bank has taken an initiative to launch a national payment
scheme in the future. Sources said a policy would be formulated to
create a “base platform” to that end.

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