All legitimate goods allowed to be purchased through international credit cards
All kinds of legitimate goods can now be purchased from abroad by using an international credit card.
The Bangladesh Bank issued a circular in this connection on Thursday, liberalising international payment through credit cards, which earlier was limited to some products.
Earlier, international payments through credit cards were only applicable for downloading software and e-books and subscription fees for magazines and newspapers.
Any legal goods and services, including online digital marketing and advertisement expenditure payments, can be made through using a credit card, reads the circular.
Only goods and services with import restrictions will remain outside the purview of the circular.
The banks will have to ensure receiving the required tax payment and receipts of purchased goods.
The central bank also asked the banks to make their customers aware of unauthorised sources in order to avoid unexpected risks, reads the circular.
The central bank's move will open up more opportunities for customers to engage with a global platform, said City Bank Managing Director Mashrur Arefin.
It would boost, he said, online transactions too.
The banks now, secretly, allow their customers to purchase legitimate goods through credit cards. Legalisation of such payments will improve customer facility, Mashrur added.
The central bank's liberal move comes within two months of its imposing limitations on international payments by introducing Online Transaction Authorisation Form (OTAF).
Previously, on November 14, the Bangladesh Bank issued a circular making it mandatory for clients to fill in an online transaction form for all international transactions in order to use international credit cards.
But the new rule could not be implemented owing to a backlash from the banking industry.
Later on November 24, the central bank backtracked from its decision, withdrawing the OTAF's use in international payments.
Currently, there are 1.5 million international cardholders in Bangladesh. The value of foreign e-commerce transactions is around Tk700 crore to Tk1,000 crore annually, according to bankers.
In 2009, the central bank started allowing online transactions. In 2013, it gave the go-ahead to the purchase and sale of goods and services online through a use of international credit cards.
Later in 2015, the Bangladesh Bank raised the foreign exchange quota for global private travellers to $12,000 a year for an adult from the earlier $5,000.