Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday (Oct 31) unveiled Bangladesh's first ever local currency card, ‘TakaPay’, aiming to reduce dependency on international cards such as Visa, Mastercard as well as to save foreign currencies. The premier inaugurated the national card scheme at the launching ceremony at her official residence Ganabhaban in the morning. Bangladesh Bank, Sonali Bank, City Bank and Brac Bank were virtually connected to the ceremony, local media reported.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Hasina said today's national card scheme TakaPay is another step towards building Smart Bangladesh. She said this sovereign domestic payment system is also an initiative for the cashless society in Bangladesh.
The ‘TakaPay’ card is being issued by state-owned Sonali Bank alongside private sector's City Bank and BRAC Bank in collaboration with the Bangladesh central bank.
Prime Minister's Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah moderated the function, while BB Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder delivered the welcome address.
Bangladesh Bank Executive Director Mezbaul Haque presented different aspects of the national card scheme ‘TakaPay’.
Sonali Bank Managing Director Afzal Karim, Brac Bank Managing Director Selim RF Hossain and City Bank Managing Director Mashrur Arefin at their offices demonstrated the usage of TakaPay card, online payment and withdrawal of money from ATM where the users will receive the services.
Visa and Mastercard are payment networks that allow the electronic transfer of funds between banks or other financial institutions and companies. They provide branded payment processing services for credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards that banks or financial institutions can then offer to their customers.
‘TakaPay’ will initially provide the same service nationally through the use of National Payment Switch Bangladesh (NPSB), an electronic payment platform run by the Bangladesh Bank. It can be used abroad, once foreign banks and institutions partner with the platform.
Initially, the card will be launched by the central bank for internal use, and later Taka-Rupee cards will be launched. Through the card customers can transact in India. Other banks will soon follow the process of Sonali Bank, City Bank and Brac Bank gradually.
BB officials said from the beginning, this card can be used at all ATMs, points of sales (PoS) and online platforms in the country. Initially, it will be used as a debit card but in the future ‘TakaPay’ credit card will also come. Advanced security system has been used in TakaPay card.
Officials said that initially the banks will introduce TakaPay Card on a pilot basis and the card has been developed by French consulting firm Fime.
The ‘TakaPay’ will reduce the cost of foreign exchange, as a good amount of money has to be spent as service charges for foreign companies.