TakaPay: Bangladesh’s first local currency card [A Milestone in Bangladesh’s Financial Landscape]

In a significant step towards financial independence and promoting a cashless society, Bangladesh Bank has introduced its first-ever local-currency card, aptly named TakaPay. unveiled on 01 November 2023, by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. TakaPay aims to reduce dependence on international card networks like Visa and Mastercard, thereby conserving valuable foreign exchange reserves. This innovative card is being issued by state-owned Sonali Bank PLC alongside private sector’s City Bank Limited and BRAC Bank PLC in collaboration with the Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of Bangladesh.

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Features and Benefits of TakaPay:

TakaPay, the first-ever local currency card, is a debit card that facilitates transactions in the Bangladeshi taka, reducing the need for currency conversion fees and the associated costs of international card networks. TakaPay will offer several key benefits to Bangladeshi citizens and businesses. It encourages the use of digital payments, which can lead to increased financial transparency and efficiency, and it strengthens the country’s financial sovereignty by reducing dependency on foreign payment systems.

This card can be used for a wide range of transactions, including ATM withdrawals, point-of-sale (POS) purchases, and online payments. Electronic transfer of taka is done through Visa and MasterCard payment networks of business institutions including banks and other financial institutions.

TakaPay is also integrated with “The National Payment Switch of Bangladesh”, an electronic payment platform operated by the BB to provide services nationally.

Initially, TakaPay card can be used within the country. Bangladesh Bank plans to introduce a Taka-Rupee card in the near future which can be used for shopping in our neighboring India.

Issuing Authority of TakaPay Card:

Presently three banks, Sonali Bank PLC, City Bank PLC and BRAC Bank PLC, have been given responsibility for issuing the TakaPay card in collaboration with the central bank. In the future, five other banks — United Commercial Bank, Eastern Bank, Islamic Bank, Dutch-Bangla Bank, and Mutual Trust Bank —will also issue the card. 

How can you get your TakaPay Card?

To get your TakaPay Card, you need a bank account. As of now, this service prevails with debit card users. Existing account holders can switch to TakaPay by suspending their linked debit cards. According to the government, the TakaPay will be widely accepted at ATMs, points of sale (PoS), and online platforms nationwide. In the future, a credit card option may be introduced with strong security measures.


The launch of TakaPay marks a significant milestone in Bangladesh’s financial journey. It represents a commitment to innovation, financial inclusion, and self-reliance. By embracing this homegrown payment solution, Bangladesh is taking a bold step towards a more modern and cashless society, one that is better equipped to meet the evolving needs of its citizens and businesses. As TakaPay gains wider adoption, it is expected to have a transformative impact on the country’s financial landscape, driving economic growth and empowering individuals to participate more fully in the digital economy.

Source: The Daily Star.

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