Cashless society to expedite country`s development, ease revenue collection : Prime Minister
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said establishment of cashless society in the country will expedite development and ease revenue collection as she launched Bangladesh's own country card scheme "TakaPay".
"When we will be able to build a cashless society, it will reduce corruption, foster development of the country and ease revenue collection," she said at the launching ceremony at her official residence Ganabhaban this morning.
The premier said that as an independent and sovereign country, Bangladesh's economic system has to be independent and sovereign, aiming to reduce dependency on others.
Laying emphasis on data security of every card holder, she said, "I hope that the security system of this network will be well-protected. We have to pay special attention especially on building the firewall foolproof."
Sheikh Hasina said this TakaPay card will be a groundbreaking step for building the cashless society in Bangladesh.
"We will not be dependent on any other, we will use our money in our country. We will try to connect this system with other countries. We must not be dependent on any single hard currency," she added.
Bangladesh Bank (BB), Sonali Bank, City Bank and Brac Bank were virtually connected to the launching ceremony.
The TakaPay card is being issued by state-owned Sonali Bank alongside private sector's City Bank and BRAC Bank in collaboration with the central bank.
Prime Minister's Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah moderated the function, while BB Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder delivered the welcome address.
BB Executive Director Mezbaul Haque presented different aspects of the national card scheme "TakaPay".
Sonali Bank Managing Director Afzal Karim, Brac Bank Managing Director Selim RF Hossain and City Bank Managing Director Mashrur Arefin at their offices demonstrated the usage of TakaPay card, online payment and withdrawal of money from ATM where the users receive the services.
Inaugurating the TakaPay Card, the prime minister said today she is very happy as this first ever local currency card is a landmark step for the country.
Mentioning that the cards which are being used by the people are operated by the foreign companies, she said foreign currency is needed for use of this card but "no more foreign currency needs to be spent for using this TakaPay card".
Sheikh Hasina also expressed their plan to introduce international transactions through TakaPay Card in future.
Highlighting the goal of establishing a cashless society, she said, "Our goal was not to depend on hard currency (paper money) and we have been able to do that today."
She also underscored the importance of bringing everyone under banking services for establishment of a cashless society.
In this connection, the premier said all the people of the country should be brought under the banking service.
Directing the Bangladesh Bank to focus on establishing good governance in the banking sector, she said the role of the central bank is very important in establishing a cashless society.
So, special attention should be given to ensure that the service in the banking sector is fairer alongside establishment of good governance, she added.
The head of the government asked the officials concerned to arrange training and provide up to date information to the people so that they can use this TakaPay card easily without any hassle in their daily life's payment.
The first ever local currency card, "TakaPay", aims to reduce dependency on international cards such as Visa, Mastercard as well as save foreign currencies.
Visa and Mastercard are payment networks that allow the electronic transfer of funds between banks or other financial institutions and companies.
They provide branded payment processing services for credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards that banks or financial institutions can then offer to their customers.
"TakaPay" will initially provide the same service nationally through the use of National Payment Switch Bangladesh (NPSB), an electronic payment platform run by the BB.
It can be used abroad, once foreign banks and institutions partner with the platform.
Initially, the card will be launched by the central bank for internal use, and later Taka-Rupee cards will be launched. Through the card, customers can transact in India.
Other banks will soon follow the Sonali Bank, City Bank and Brac Bank gradually.
BB officials said from the beginning, this card can be used at all ATMs, points of sales (PoS) and online platforms in the country.
Initially, it will be used as a debit card but in the future "TakaPay" credit card will also come. Advanced security system has been used in TakaPay cards.
The officials said that initially the banks will introduce TakaPay card on a pilot basis and the card has been developed by French consulting firm "Fime".
The Taka Pay card will reduce the cost of foreign exchange, as a good amount of money has to be spent as service charges for foreign companies.
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