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Bangladesh Bank restores International Cards following criticism

Bangladesh Bank restores normal use of International Cards following criticism

Earlier on November 14, the FEPD had introduced mandatory submission of Online Transaction Authorization Form (OTAF) for cardholders to obtain prior permission from the card-issuing bank over the necessity and legitimacy of each transaction, before the use of the cards

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has reopened the normal use of International Cards (ICs) in order to ensure cardholders’ access to finance for online payment.

In the latest order, the BB’s Foreign Exchange Policy Department (FEPD), however, advised the Authorized Dealers (ADs) to remain vigilant to prevent illegitimate transactions like payments for participating in online casinos or gambling, trading in foreign currency and stock exchanges, purchase of cryptocurrencies, lottery tickets and the purchase of goods and services originated in Bangladesh.

Earlier on November 14, the FEPD had introduced mandatory submission of Online Transaction Authorization Form (OTAF) for cardholders to obtain prior permission from the card-issuing bank over the necessity and legitimacy of each transaction, before the use of the cards.

On Sunday, the FEPD issued a fresh circular instructing AD for compliance on exemption of the November 14 (2019) directive in regard to mandatory submission of OTAF before use of cards in online payment.

“To further simplify online transactions, it has been decided to waive OTAF formalities for online payments abroad through ICs,” reads the fresh circular, signed by FEPD general manager Mohammad Khurshid Wahab.

Contacted over phone, Khurshid told Dhaka Tribune last evening that only the mandatory provision of submission of OTAF was withdrawn. “Our objective was not to disrupt online payment facilities extended by cards except for that of illegitimate transactions,” he said.

In the November 14 circular, the FEPD had directed that: “Cardholders shall, for online payment through ICs, submit OTAF to the ADs stating payment details for approval on the proposed transaction. Upon being satisfied about legitimacy of the proposed transaction, the ADs will activate the card and after the completion of permitted transactions, the card’s transaction facility will be deactivated.”

The move from BB drew widespread criticism from different sections including Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), travellers, people looking for healthcare services abroad, students and online shoppers and other major user of ICs.

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