City Bank has introduced a dual currency debit card, joining a growing list of lenders that are offering the facility to lure in the progressively global-minded customers in the country that are averse to using credit cards.
The lender will issue the CityMaxx cards to its savings and current account holders, who can enjoy cashback on international transactions, a first for the country.
The card must be endorsed on the customer's passport as the foreign transactions would come from his/her $12,000 annual foreign currency quota.
Earlier on June 16, the Bangladesh Bank issued the guideline for banks to give out international debit cards.
The local currency accounts must have sufficient funds to support the expenses to be met from the debit cards. Alternatively, the banks would have to retain the amount equivalent in the taka to the endorsed figure in the margin accounts and they have to be maintained in the names of customers for the smooth adjustment of the expenses.
So far, Brac, AB, Eastern, IFIC, HSBC, Standard Chartered offer international debit cards.
Debit cards are the happy medium between credit cards and cash -- one gets the convenience of carrying a card without the risk of running up debt as they limit spending to what is available in one's current account.
And not only that, one simply does not have to worry about the drag of late fees, annual fees and interest charge and the possibility of theft.
If the card is reported missing right after the incident, the bank will straightaway cancel it so nobody would be able to use the card.
Having a debit card in one's pocket also means one does not have to stand in a queue in a bank branch to withdraw cash; he/she can simply stop by the nearest automated teller machine and take out as much as need.
And while at the cashpoint, one can get a mini statement or do a balance inquiry.
In Bangladesh, almost all banks issue debit cards, mostly of Visa and MasterCard, meaning they come with most of the perks of owning a credit card.
With the view to popularising plastic money in Bangladesh, both the global payment giants are offering a host of discounts and cashback on their cards at point-of-sale -- and those with debits cards can avail them too.
It is not just at point-of-sales and cash point where the debit card is of use. One can pay bills, recharge mobile number, buy train, bus and air tickets online, order food and do online shopping with the debit card -- from the comfort of one's home.