The Taka Pay card is Bangladesh’s first national debit card launched in 2023. It allows people to make digital payments and withdraw cash without relying on international payment schemes like Visa and Mastercard. The Taka Pay card is expected to save foreign currency and promote digital payments in Bangladesh. This article provides a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about getting a Taka Pay card.
What is Taka Pay Card?
The Taka Pay card is a domestic debit card initiated by Bangladesh Bank. It was launched on November 1, 2023 by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The first three banks to roll out Taka Pay cards are Brac Bank, City Bank, and Sonali Bank.
The Taka Pay card allows holders to:
- Withdraw cash from ATMs
- Make payments at point-of-sale (POS) terminals
- Make online purchases
- Make contactless payments
All transactions are processed through the national payment switch operated by Bangladesh Bank. This makes transactions using Taka Pay cards affordable, convenient, secure and reliable.
Benefits of Taka Pay Card
Here are some of the key benefits of using a Taka Pay card:
- Sovereign domestic payment system: Taka Pay reduces dependency on international card schemes like Visa and Mastercard. It promotes use of a national payment system.
- Saves foreign currency: By switching to Taka Pay for domestic spending, Bangladesh can save millions in foreign currency paid as fees to international card networks.
- Secured transactions: All transactions via Taka Pay cards go through the highly secure national payment switch system overseen by Bangladesh Bank.
- Lower transaction costs: Banks can offer Taka Pay cards at lower costs compared to Visa or Mastercard debit cards. This makes digital payments more affordable.
- Promotes digital economy: Taka Pay cards facilitate ecommerce growth, cashless transactions and financial inclusion in Bangladesh.
- Interoperability: Taka Pay cards are expected to be usable in India as well, promoting greater interoperability.
Eligibility for Taka Pay Card
To be eligible for a Taka Pay card, you must:
- Be a citizen of Bangladesh
- Have a bank account with any commercial bank offering Taka Pay cards
- Provide KYC documents like national ID card, passport, driving license etc. as per bank requirements
Currently, Taka Pay cards are being offered by Brac Bank, City Bank and Sonali Bank. More banks are expected to start issuing Taka Pay cards soon. Check with your bank if they offer Taka Pay cards.
If your bank has not yet started offering Taka Pay cards, you may need to open an account with one of the three issuing banks. The process is similar to opening a regular bank account.
How to Apply for Taka Pay Card
Follow these steps to apply for a Taka Pay card from a partner bank:
Step 1: Collect Application Form
You can collect the Taka Pay card application form online or physically from your nearest bank branch. Check the bank’s website or visit a branch office.
The application form will require you to provide personal details like name, date of birth, contact information, address proof etc.
Step 2: Submit KYC Documents
Along with the filled application form, you have to submit officially valid KYC documents. These include:
- Copy of national ID card/birth certificate
- Passport size photographs
- Proof of address (utility bill, rent agreement etc.)
Additional documents may be needed based on the bank’s KYC and AML policies.
Step 3: Pay Application Fees
Banks may charge a small application processing fee. This could range from Tk 100-500. You have to deposit the fee amount along with your Taka Pay card application.
Step 4: Wait for Approval
The bank will verify your KYC documents and process the application. This may take 3-5 working days. Once approved, they will send the Taka Pay debit card to your registered address.
Some banks may offer instant issuance where you get the card as soon as your application is approved.
Activating the Taka Pay Card
Once you receive your Taka Pay card, activate it using any of these methods:
- ATM activation: Insert the card in any Visa/Mastercard ATM. Enter the OTP/PIN sent to your registered mobile number to activate.
- Net banking/app activation: Some banks allow card activation via their mobile app or net banking portal.
- Branch activation: Visit your nearest branch office with valid ID proof to activate your Taka Pay card.
During activation, you will be prompted to set a PIN for your card. Choose a 4-digit PIN that is easy to remember but difficult to guess. This PIN will be required for ATM withdrawals and POS transactions.
Using the Taka Pay Card
As a domestic debit card, the Taka Pay card can be used to:
- Withdraw cash: Visit any Visa or Mastercard branded ATM in Bangladesh. Insert your card, enter PIN and withdraw money.
- POS payments: Tap or insert your card at Point of Sale terminals to make payments at shops, restaurants etc.
- Online purchases: Use the card details to make payments on ecommerce sites, food delivery apps, travel booking platforms etc.
- Contactless: Make contactless payments by tapping your Taka Pay card at enabled POS terminals or readers. Transactions under Tk 2000 can be done without PIN.
Check your bank’s guidelines on daily usage and withdrawal limits applicable for Taka Pay cards.
How to Check Balance and Mini Statement
You can check your Taka Pay card balance and mini statement using:
- ATMs – Insert your card and select the option to view balance or mini statement
- SMS – Send an SMS with a prescribed format to the bank’s designated number
- Mobile app – Log into your bank’s mobile app and go to card services section
- Net banking – Use your card details to log in and check balance/statement
- Customer care – Call the bank’s helpline number and talk to an agent after authentication
- Email/SMS alerts – Activate balance alerts to get updates on major transactions
Security Tips for Taka Pay Card
Here are some tips to use your Taka Pay card safely:
- Memorize your PIN and do not share it with anyone, including bank staff.
- Cover the keypad when entering PIN at ATMs or POS terminals.
- Do not respond to unsolicited calls/emails asking for card details.
- Set transaction limits and enable SMS alerts for large transactions.
- Monitor mini statement regularly to identify unauthorized transactions.
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately by calling the bank helpline.
- Update contact details with the bank to receive real-time transaction alerts.
Taka Pay Card – FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about Taka Pay cards:
Is there any charge for getting a Taka Pay card?
Banks may charge a nominal fee of Tk 100-500 for new card applications. This is towards processing costs. The annual maintenance charges are also minimal compared to international card schemes.
Can I use my Taka Pay card outside Bangladesh?
As of now, Taka Pay is a domestic card usable only in Bangladesh. It is expected to be usable in India at RuPay supported POS terminals and ATMs soon. International use is currently not allowed.
Is the Taka Pay card valid for online payments?
Yes, Taka Pay cards can be used to make payments on ecommerce sites, food delivery apps, travel portals and other online platforms. Enable the card for online payments via your bank’s app or website.
What should I do if my Taka Pay card is lost or stolen?
Immediately call the bank’s 24×7 card helpline number. Request them to block the card. You can later visit a branch office to get a replacement card issued. A minimal charge may apply.
Can I use my Taka Pay card at Mastercard/Visa POS and ATMs?
Yes, Taka Pay cards are powered by RuPay but can be used on Mastercard and Visa terminals as well. Look for the RuPay branding when making payments.
The Taka Pay card is a game changing initiative for promoting digital payments in Bangladesh. It reduces reliance on expensive international card networks and saves foreign currency. By opting for this national debit card, you support the growth of a sovereign digital payments infrastructure. Follow the simple application process, use it safely and reap the benefits of fast, convenient digital transactions.