Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The use of both credit and debit cards, also referred as plastic money, are increasing gradually in Bangladesh as convenient and safe for various types of transactions, officials said.

The credit card transactions increased 3.23 per cent to BDT 14.32 billion during the first quarter (Q1) of this calendar year compared to the final quarter of last year, according to the central bank latest statistics.

People used their credit cards mostly for purchasing at shops and online, which drove up credit amount payment through POS (point of sale) by 3.09 per cent over the payment of the last quarter of 2014.

The cash out by credit cards through ATMs (automated teller machines) also rose during the period though such transactions involve more fee than buying staffs, according to the Bangladesh Bank (BB) officials.

They said the credit amounts increased through ATMs by 11.34 per cent when it was up by 23.87 per cent for e-commerce.

The BB data also showed that people were using more credit cards issued by local private commercial banks (PCBs) than the foreign commercial banks (FCBs), operating in Bangladesh.

As a result, credit card transaction for FCBs declined by 3.98 per cent during the January-March period of 2015 though the e-commerce transaction in FCBs rose by 14.77 per cent.

Debit cards transactions in the Q1 also increased by 2.55 per cent to BDT 211.53 billion compared to the Q4 of 2014, indicating that people preferred ATMs than going to banks for cash out.

Currently, around 8.0 million debit cards are being used across the country.

Most of the PCBs and FCBs issued credit cards in Bangladesh for both local and international market. But, none of the state-owned banks issued any credit cards yet though some of them issued debit cards, they added.