BB permits int'l online purchases | The Daily Star
12:43 AM, May 31, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:20 AM, May 31, 2013

Foreign Currency Credit Cards

BB permits int'l online purchases

Green light to int'l credit cardsBangladesh Bank yesterday allowed users of international credit cards to make overseas online purchases.
A cardholder can initially spend as much as the card's travel allowance and an additional $1,000 for online purchases, with each deal not exceeding $100.
Presently, a traveller is allowed to spend $2,000 in Saarc countries and $5,000 in non-Saarc countries annually.
The Bangladesh Bank issued a circular in this regard yesterday.
“We have done this particularly for the young generation...They will benefit the most,” Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman told The Daily Star.
Professionals like journalists and online activists will also benefit from the move, he added.
“This is one step forward towards the digitalisation of financial transactions,” said Atiur.
Over the next three months, the BB will observe the users' activities and their reaction, and will act accordingly, BB officials said.
Bankers hailed the latest initiative by the central bank.
“This is a welcome move which will benefit the consumers,” said Bitopi Das Chowdhury, head of corporate affairs at Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), the major player in Bangladesh's credit card industry.
She added that 90 percent of SCB's credit cards are dual currency-based, meaning that the cards have access to international markets.
Ziaul Karim, head of brand and communications at Eastern Bank, said the use of credit cards for online payment across borders would benefit consumers immensely.
“People will be able to buy software, books and other products through their cards,” Karim observed.
There are around seven lakh credit cards in Bangladesh, most of which are from the SCB, followed by Eastern and BRAC banks. Most of the banks now issue dual currency credit cards.
In November 2009, the BB introduced a domestic online payment system, facilitating fund transfers and the payment of utility bills on the Internet. The move permitted people to use their credit cards for online transactions within the country.

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