In Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently announced the official launch of “TakaPay”, which represents a big advancement in the field of payment options. This groundbreaking initiative was introduced by Bangladesh Bank. Let’s explore the intricacies of ‘TakaPay’ and its capacity to reshape the nation’s payment ecosystem.
What is TakaPay?
TakaPay, aptly named, is Bangladesh’s very first national card scheme. It is designed to be a homegrown alternative to well-established international card services like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. All transactions conducted through ‘TakaPay’ cards will be routed exclusively through the National Payment Switch of Bangladesh (NPSB), under the oversight of Bangladesh Bank. This ensures the creation of a robust and dependable payment infrastructure within the nation’s borders.
Benefits of TakaPay
One of the most promising aspects of ‘TakaPay’ is its commitment to inclusivity. ‘TakaPay’ cards will be made accessible to a wide spectrum of users, including the working class and those with modest incomes. The utilization of the National Card Specification enables banks to debit their customers at minimal costs, which is a remarkable step towards financial democratization. Every transaction made via ‘TakaPay’ will be processed within Bangladesh’s own network. This guarantees that Bangladesh Bank maintains full control over transaction data, ensuring no sensitive information leaves the country.
Moreover, the usage of ‘TakaPay’ cards for domestic transactions comes with a notable advantage—no additional fees or charges. This not only alleviates the financial burden on individuals but also leads to substantial savings on foreign exchange. The meticulous recording and management of transaction data by Bangladesh Bank enhances accountability and transparency in financial operations.
Special Benefits for Travelers
The ‘TakaPay’ Card brings substantial benefits to travelers, particularly those crossing the border into neighboring India. Each year, numerous Bangladeshis visit India for various reasons, including medical treatment and tourism. ‘TakaPay’ provides an opportunity to mitigate the foreign exchange costs incurred when using cards issued by international payment systems such as Visa, Mastercard, and Amex.
How TakaPay Works
‘TakaPay’ represents a distinct payment system that provides a dependable substitute for international card services. The current services include utility bills, tuition fees, toll payments, card-to-card transfers, card-to-mobile financial services (MFS) wallet transfers, interbank ATMs, point-of-sale, e-commerce, and online payments.
NPSB, connecting 53 banks for ATM transactions, offers services such as cash withdrawal, balance inquiry, fund transfer, and mini-statements. 13 commercial banks have committed to adopting the TakaPay Card system. Notably, state-owned Sonali Bank, as well as private-sector banks City Bank and BRAC Bank The ambitious vision for ‘TakaPay’ extends beyond national borders, as it aspires to extend its reach internationally, enabling cardholders to use the system abroad.
A Global Trend in Sovereign Payment Solutions
Bangladesh now joins the ranks of neighboring countries, such as India (Rupay), Pakistan (PakPay), Sri Lanka (LankaPay), and Saudi Arabia (Mada Card), in introducing its own national card. This growing trend emphasizes the rising importance of creating an independent and sovereign payment solution, especially in the current geopolitical context.
In conclusion, the introduction of ‘TakaPay’ marks a significant leap in Bangladesh’s journey towards financial inclusivity, control over its payment ecosystem, and the reduction of transaction-related expenses. As ‘TakaPay’ paves the way for a digital Bangladesh, it aligns with the nation’s vision of becoming a smart and self-reliant financial powerhouse by 2041. This novel initiative holds the potential to empower every citizen and foster a resilient and vibrant financial landscape for the future.