To enhance financial independence and reduce reliance on global payment networks, Bangladesh has introduced its first domestic card scheme, “Taka Pay.” The initiative aims to safeguard foreign currencies and bolster financial sovereignty.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday reportedly said her government aims to create a cashless society to reduce corruption, expedite development, and ease revenue collection.
“When we are able to build a cashless society it will curtail corruption. The development of the country will be expedited and the revenue collection will be eased,” the prime minister said while inaugurating the local currency card Taka Pay, the first of its kind in the country, from her official residence, Ganabhaban.
Taka Pay will serve as a vital alternative to internationally recognized payment systems like Visa and Mastercard. These global giants facilitate the electronic transfer of funds between banks, financial institutions, and businesses, offering branded payment processing services for credit, debit, and prepaid cards.
Taka Pay’s debut will initially cater to the domestic market, with the National Payment Switch Bangladesh, an electronic payment platform operated by Bangladesh Bank, facilitating its services.
State-run Sonali Bank and private institution Brac Bank will be the first issuers, with more banks expected to join. Initially for domestic use, Taka Pay has global ambitions, aiming to collaborate with foreign banks for international acceptance, fostering economic and financial ties across borders.
Bankers and financial experts emphasize the significance of having an independent and sovereign card system, particularly in today’s complex geopolitical landscape. Taka Pay is poised to contribute to Bangladesh’s economic self-reliance and financial stability, offering a secure and reliable payment alternative.
The “Taka Pay” card’s development involved the collaborative efforts of two central bank committees. Inspired by a hint from Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder on June 18, these committees included representatives from eight major local banks, significant players in the country’s card business. These banks will conduct a pilot launch of Taka Pay. Furthermore, the development of Taka Pay received crucial support from the Paris-based consultancy firm Fime, highlighting global collaboration in this initiative.
With the introduction of “Taka Pay,” Bangladesh joins the ranks of other nations that have introduced their own national card schemes, including India with “RuPay,” Pakistan with “PakPay,” Sri Lanka with “LankaPay,” and Saudi Arabia with “Mada.” This move demonstrates Bangladesh’s commitment to self-sufficiency and financial autonomy in the ever-evolving world of finance.
The launch of “Taka Pay” marks a significant step in Bangladesh’s journey towards financial independence, with the potential to reshape the nation’s financial landscape and strengthen its position in the global economy.
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