Taka Pay: Launched of a Domestic National Card Scheme


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently introduced Taka Pay, the first local currency card in Bangladesh. This innovative payment system provides numerous practical advantages and potential benefits. By offering a brief overview of its functionality and purpose, we can better understand the significance of Taka Pay. Launched on November 1, 2023, the Taka Pay Card serves as Bangladesh’s inaugural national debit card. It enables individuals to engage in digital transactions and withdraw cash without depending on international payment networks such as Visa and MasterCard. This initiative is anticipated to conserve foreign exchange reserves and encourage the adoption of digital payments throughout the country.

What is TakaPay Card?

Taka Pay Card is a Bank Debit Card which will be operated through Bangladesh Bank’s own National Payment Switch Bangladesh (NPSB). As a result, the card can only be used within the country. However, there are plans to introduce use in India and Saudi Arabia in the future.

The debit and credit cards we have been using until now were managed by the international Visa or Mastercard network. Banks have to spend a lot of foreign exchange every year due to using international networks.

So Bangladesh Bank was trying to launch its own card for a long time to reduce the dependence on foreign exchange.

Image: Taka Pay_ Launched of a Domestic National Card Scheme

Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Launches ‘Taka-Pay’ National Card:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the ‘Taka-Pay’ national card. The Prime Minister inaugurated it through a video conference from Ganobhaban on Wednesday (November 1) morning.

In the opening ceremony, Sonali Bank, City Bank and BRAC Bank head offices were connected through video conference. How to use the card at the event is shown in the video.

At that time, the Prime Minister said, “We have built digital Bangladesh. Now our goal is to build a smart Bangladesh. The work we are going to do today is a step to build a smart Bangladesh.”

She said, “we are an independent sovereign country. We can build our economic system into an independent sovereign system. Our interdependence will decrease. Because the cards we use now belong to foreign companies. Foreign currency has to be paid there as well. No need to do that now. Our foreign dependence will also decrease. We will use our own network, so no one can take the information. Measures will be taken to ensure that each individual’s information is protected. We want to create a cashless society. The move to make the National Scheme Taka Pay i.e. Cashless Society is a landmark step for Bangladesh today.”

Primarily “cash-pay” can be used within the country. Taka Pay will provide the same service nationally through the use of “National Payment Switch Bangladesh”, an electronic payment platform operated by Bangladesh Bank.

If foreign banks and institutions are added to this platform, Taka Pay can be used abroad. Soon the use of this card will be extended to India as well. Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rauf Talukder said on June 18 that every year many people from Bangladesh go to India for various purposes including medical treatment and travel. For this you need to buy US dollars and convert them to rupees in India. Travelers often bear the brunt of exchange rates. To overcome this situation, the central bank is bringing a debit card called Taka Pay. People can withdraw money or money through this debit card. It can be used for payment by Bangladeshis traveling to India.

Image: National domestic Card( Taka Pay)

In a Brief:

Taka-pay card is a type of debit card. It can be issued by various banks within Bangladesh. Control will be in the hands of Bangladesh Bank. Customers can transact through this card like conventional cards (Visa, Master).

Currently, Bangladeshi citizens spend the most foreign currency in neighboring India through credit cards. Bangladeshi people will be able to use the Indian currency rupees through Taka-Pay cards if the dual currency or dual currency facility is added next December.

The central bank of Bangladesh and the central bank of India, the Reserve Bank of India are preparing to start bilateral transactions. This will make the “Taka Pay” card a ‘dual currency card’ for exchanging taka and rupees.

The card is expected to contribute to reducing dependence on international cards and saving foreign exchange. Like the “Taka-Pay” card, India has the “Rupee Card”. Similarly, Sri Lanka has its own card called “Lanka-Pay”, Pakistan “Pak-Pay”, and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East has its own card called “Mada-Card”. Now Bangladesh has been added to that list by introducing ‘Taka-Pay’.

The card will be issued by state-owned Sonali Bank and private commercial bank BRAC. Initially, these banks will issue “money-pay” on a pilot basis. The card was developed by Paris-based consulting firm “Fime“.The card will be issued by state-owned Sonali Bank and private commercial bank BRAC. Initially, these banks will issue “Taka-Pay” on a pilot basis. The Paris-based consultancy firm “Fime” developed the card.

Taka Pay: Sonali Bank PLC. National domestic Card

Benefits of Taka Pay Card:

Benefits of Taka Pay card are,

  • Banks do not have to spend foreign exchange;
  • The cost of using the card will be relatively low;
  • Subject to agreements with other countries, transactions can also be made in those countries.

The biggest advantage of Taka-pay card is that you don’t have to spend dollars to use this card. Where now foreign currency has to be spent to use international cards.

Moreover, since this card will be operated through Bangladesh’s own payment network NPSB. Hence, the fee of this Taka Pay card will be less. As a result, card usage fees for customers will be lower. But can everyone use this card? No, that’s because Taka Pay card has some limitations. Let’s know what are the limitations or disadvantages of Taka Pay card.

Disadvantages of Taka Pay Card

Disadvantages of Taka Pay card are,

  • It is a Local Debit Card, cannot be used outside the country;
  • Cannot be purchased from International E Commerce site;

There are many of us who use dual currency cards that can be used outside the country, they cannot use this money pay card to transact outside the country, or make any international payments.

So, Visa, Mastercard, American Express must be used if you want to make transactions outside the country.

Image: Taka Pay Test Card_BRAC BANK

How to get Taka pay card

Currently, 3 banks have introduced payment cards. The banks are Sonali Bank, BR

AC Bank and City Bank. To get Taka Pay Card open an account in these 3 banks and get Taka Pay Card. Currently only 8 banks will be able to initially issue TakaPay cards. So to get Taka Pay Card you must have an account in the following 8 banks:

  • Brac Bank;
  • Islami Bank;
  • Eastern Bank;
  • Sonali Bank;
  • UCB Bank;
  • City Bank;
  • Dutch Bangla Bank;
  • Mutual Trust Bank.

Note: If you have an account with the above listed banks, you can apply for TakaPay Debit Card. However, if you have any previous debit card, you have to submit it. Even if you open a new account in these banks, you can take TakaPay card as your debit card.

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