Bangladeshis increased their dollar spending through credit cards abroad by 32 percent in July over that in the previous month this year.
However, credit card transactions within the country decreased in recent times, according to a Bangladesh Bank report.
Market analysts said that due to various reasons including the dollar crisis, the customer has to pay Tk 4 to Tk 5 per dollar more against a dollar in the open market.
Now the value of each dollar on the card is Tk 112.50, they said, adding that, but every dollar is Tk 113 in the bank and Tk 117 to Tk 118 in the open market. Due to this variation in the price of the dollar, the interest of foreign travelers to take dollars through credit cards is increasing, they mentioned. An economist said in recent times, people who are going abroad for study, treatment and travel, are inclined to take dollars through credit cards instead of buying cash dollars. Credit card transactions abroad have increased as this method is hassle-free and cost-effective, he added.
According to the updated data of Bangladesh Bank, transactions of Tk 2,341 crore were made through credit cards within the country in the month of July, by about Tk 72 crore or 2.96 percent against Tk 2,413 crore in June.
The central bank data showed that Bangladeshis spent the equivalent of Tk 511 crore in June through credit cards in various countries on travelling, medical treatment, and buying products online, which was 31.81 percent or Tk 123 crore higher than in the previous month.
Mohammad Afran, a credit card user, told Bangladesh Post that credit cards are now not a luxury, but a necessary accessory.
“This card can be used to withdraw cash from the bank's booth and pay for the purchase of various products and services. Loans are easily available if needed. We can repay the money (loan) up to 45 days without interest. People can now meet their immediate cash needs. These cards give the opportunity to transact in foreign currency not only within the country, but also abroad. As a result, along with people's interest, dependence on cards is increasing, he mentioned.
According to the central bank report, Bangladeshis spent the most in India at Tk 86.60 crore, which was about 16.92 percent of the total spending.
The remaining cross-border transactions took place in the USA at 13.83 percent or Tk 70.80 crore, Saudi Arabia at 11.42 percent or Tk 58.50 crore, Thailand at 9.22 percent or Tk 47.20 crore, Singapore at 7.71 percent or Tk 39.50 crore and the United Kingdom at 6.92 percent respectively.