Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank, has decided to launch the nation’s domestic card scheme.
By establishing this independent domestic card scheme payment infrastructure, Bangladesh Bank says it is creating the stable, sovereign economic platform it needs to deliver financial security to its citizens.
“Bangladesh is an emerging market with a growing payments ecosystem and a strong desire for digital solutions that advance the Smart Bangladesh Mission,” said Mezbaul Haque, Executive Director of Bangladesh Bank.
“We are confident and ready to begin our journey towards payments sovereignty.”
Bangladesh has spent decades to increase financial inclusion among large swathes of the population.
According to the International Telecommunication Union, in 2020, nearly 94% of all Bangladeshi households had access to mobile phones, allowing people to use digital banking apps and pay for goods and services online.
The private sector has been aiding the government’s efforts to bring more people into the digital banking sphere.
In May 2023, AGAM International and Swisscontact partnered to accelerate financial access for thousands of garment factory workers across Bangladesh.
The alliance between the two involves using AI technology and behavioural insights to give workers better access to credit.
Over the last decade, and as a result of growing concerns on domestic payments sovereignty, potential US sanctions, and increasing international card schemes fees, several countries have supported or mandated the creation of domestic payment schemes.
The aim is to foster competition, defend national interests, ensure data security, and maintain control of payment systems within their own jurisdictions.
Such initiatives work with local financial institutions and merchants to establish reliable and inclusive payment ecosystems that consider local economics, language, and cultural preferences.
These initiatives have flourished over the last few years across multiple geographies, including both card schemes such as Troy in Turkey, Mir in Russia, Elo in Brazil, RuPay in India, meeza in Egypt, and mada in KSA.
As well as digital instant payment solutions such as iDEAL in the Netherlands, Swish in Sweden, PromptPay in Thailand, UPI in India, and the recently announced IPP in the UAE, or even sometimes combining both cards and instant payments under an integrated platform such as InstaPay in Egypt.
According to a recent study conducted by Juniper research, the number of consumer instant payments is projected to surpass 235 billion by 2027, growing from 74 billion in 2023.
The adoption of instant payments among consumers is expected to expand rapidly, accounting for approximately 70% of all global transactions by 2027, up from slightly over 30% in 2023.
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