Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladesh Bank (BB) is going to impose a cap on charges of debit card aiming to protect depositors’ interest, officials said.
“We may fix the charges on debit cards in line with the banker’s opinions,” a BB senior official told BBN in Dhaka.
He also said the issue will be discussed at the next bankers’ meeting, scheduled to be held on March 19.
The central bank is likely to impose annual charge between BDT 300 and BDT 400 for all types of debit cards of the banks in a bid to popularise more the online-based transaction, another BB official said.
The banks are now charging annual fee on the debit cards between BDT 300 and BDT 2,000 which is impeding to expedite the card-based transaction through automated teller machine and point-on-sale, he added.
“Actually, the banks are now allowed to fix different charges including annual ones on debit card using their own policies,” the central banker explained.
Currently, around 8.0 million debit cards are using across the country.

The central bank of Bangladesh is now working to gear up the electronic payment system instead of the existing cash-based transaction, they added.

As part the move, the central bank has already asked the member banks of national payment switch Bangladesh (NPSB) to upgrade their necessary configuration of switching software for making utility bills through debit cards.

Under the up-gradation of switching software system, the debit card holders are allowed to pay utility bills using their cards.

The central bank has already issued a directive and asked the chief executive officers and managing directors of all NPSB member banks for taking necessary measures in this connection.

Currently, 40 commercial banks are members of the NPSB, introduced on December 27, 2012, aiming to facilitate efficient, safe and secured payment system.

“Four more banks will join the system at the end of this month” the BB official said while replying to a query.

At present, more than 5,500 ATM (Automated Teller Machine) booths are in operation across the country. Of them, 90 per cent are connected with the NPSB.

BBN/SSR/AD-13Mar15-2:18 pm (BST)