Visa to set up office in Dhaka as cashless transaction becomes "new normal"

- A Monitor Desk Report 18 Jun, 2020 | 482 Views|-+
Dhaka: As cashless transaction is becoming the "new normal" following the coronavirus pandemic, Visa, the global leader in payments technology, unveiled its plans to establish a country liaison office in Dhaka in a press release on June 17.

Visa has been providing cards in Bangladesh for 32 years, starting out with the magstripe card and now state-of-the-art tap and pay contactless cards.

"We believe it is an opportune time to leverage the explosive growth of digital payments through a team of Visa executives dedicated to Bangladesh," said Chris Clark, Regional President - Asia Pacific, Visa.

The office, expected to be set up by 2020, will employ a team of executives through which Visa would introduce new services, drive social impact programmes and participate in the economic growth of Bangladesh.

The country office culminates decades of investments in Bangladesh in pioneering and driving digital payments, which, in turn, have helped fuel economic growth and played a significant role in the Digital Bangladesh mission, said the company in the press release.

"Since commencing operations in Bangladesh in 1988, our business has played a distinct part in shaping the digital payment ecosystem in the country. We are truly excited about the potential the country holds and expect the local liaison office to further propel our market growth in years to come," Clark said.

Currently, Visa has partnerships with close to 50 banks, leading financial technology companies and processors.

In recent years, Visa launched Bangladesh's first contactless card and introduced open-loop, interoperable quick response (QR) payments in line with BanglaQR specifications to the market.

Visa has worked with large fintechs and e-commerce players as well to introduce card on file, wallet load and other best-in-class payment innovations.

The payments technology company is working with the regulatory agencies in Bangladesh and concerned authorities to acquire requisite permissions and set up the liaison office.

In a latest development, the central bank has allowed authorised dealer (AD) banks to issue international debit cards (IDCs) against annual travel entitlements of USD 12,000 per person.

The IDCs can be issued within annual travel entitlement with endorsement on passports.

ADs need to have suitable arrangements in the local currency accounts to which IDCs are linked to ensure that the amount in foreign exchange cannot be expensed in excess of endorsement within the annual travel entitlement, said Bangladesh Bank in a notice on June 16.

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

Alternatively, ADs would have to retain endorsed amounts equivalent in the taka in the margin accounts and they have to be maintained in the names of customers for the smooth adjustment of the expenses.

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