Bangladesh Bank has granted the local banks permission to issue international debit cards for the first time.  The banks will be able to issue the cards against customers’ annual travel range quota.

Any customers will not be able to spend more foreign currency than the quota, the central bank said in a circular on Tuesday.

The debit cards will work in the same way as international credit cards and the customers will be able to use them for shopping, travel and paying hotel bills, the circular said.

 

A customer will not be allowed to spend more than $12,000 in a year by using an international debit card, the official said, asking not to be named.

The cards will be linked to the local currency accounts and cannot spend the funds beyond the annual limits of foreign currency endorsement, according to the notice.

The local currency accounts must have sufficient funds to support the expenses to be met from the cards, it added.

Most of the banks in Bangladesh do not have the capacity to issue international debit cards now, central bank officials said.

They said the Bangladesh Bank gave the permission largely on request from the foreign banks. It hopes the local banks will introduce necessary technology to issue the cards as well.

The rules allow a Bangladeshi national to spend a maximum of $12,000 on travel to any country annually.

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