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INTEGRATION OF POSTAL CASH CARD WITH VISA, MASTERCARD ON THE WAY

After having long sleepy presence, Postal Cash Card-the ‘plastic money’ under the jurisdiction of Bangladesh Post Office is going to be integration with the global ‘card giants’-Visa and MasterCard.

Upon integration-which is likely to be finished by the end of this year-the payment option through the Postal Cash Card will be modernized and the people in rural areas will be able to reap the benefit of getting attached with two global payment giants.

Besides, Bangladesh Post Office has also decided to tag itself withe-commerce giants Amazon and Alibaba.com to give its e-commerce service a big boost.

The integration with the card giants

According to an official document, a process is underway to integrate the Postal Cash Card with the Visa and MasterCard mainly for collecting remittance from Bangladeshi expatriates living in different countries.

Technological aspects have already been finalised with the authorities of the two cards and the system will be introduced by December next.

“The Postal Department has already accepted the formal proposals from the Visa and MasterCard authorities to complete the revenue sharing agreement,” the document said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on March 26, 2010 inaugurated the Postal Cash Card. The Postal Department with the assistance of IT Consultants Limited (ITCL) is conducting the service.

Currently, 8,500 posts offices,including in all upazila headquarters,district towns and divisional cities,and important sub-post offices have this service.

The main aim of the service is to bring the grassroots people under the banking service through the Postal Cash Card.

This card will minimize the risk of carrying cash and enable customers to reap the benefits of encashment and remittance in post office counters and also ATM booths. This card may also act equally as Debit Card, Credit Cardand Plastic Money.

e-commerce-a new priority

On the other hand, the government has introduced e-commerce service in20 post offices in Dhaka metropolitan area on December 29, 2016 under a pilot project.

The service will be introduced in all the 64 districts of the country very soon, the document said.

To this end, necessary training programmes for the post office officials and employees are going on a part from collecting electronic devices.

The Postal Department also opened a website, www.dakbazar.com, for experimental use.

“The process is on to link this webpage with other commercial organizations. After establishing the link, the service will be launched commercially,” the document said.

Besides, a process is underway to sign a memorandum of understanding with one of the biggest electronic payment gateways MasterCard and e-commerce giants Amazon and Alibaba.com to spread thee-commerce service of the postal department outside Bangladesh.

Apart from these steps, the Postal Department has taken an initiative to provide agent banking as Bangladesh Bank had formulated a policy for providing banking services in the country’s rural areas through various organizations. As per the policy, the Postal Department can provide the service.

According to the official document,the revenue earning of the department in 2013-14 fiscal was Tk 219.13 crore while the amount was Tk 253.17 and Tk 301.18 crore in 2014-15 and2015-16 fiscal years respectively.

Till May this year, the Postal Department earned Tk 325 crore, says the document.■

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