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nState-run banks are lagging far behind the private and foreign commercial banks in expanding card-based payment system as the eight SoBs issued 57,887 credit and debit cards against 80,27,647 cards issued by the PCBs and the FCBs as on August 31, 2013, said a BB report.

The SoBs are Sonali, Janata, Agrani, Rupali, Bangladesh Krishi, Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan, BASIC and Bangladesh Development banks.
Of them, the BKB and the RAKUB are yet to issue any debit or credit card till date and only Sonali Bank has introduced credit card, the BB report said.

A BB official said the state-run banks were reluctant to promote card-based payment system.
‘In the banks there is also a shortage of skilled manpower required to promote card-based payment system including online banking,’ he said.

He said that the card-based payment system was becoming popular rapidly in the country as the majority of the PCBs and the FCBs took a number of initiatives in a bid to attract clients.

The BB data showed that the state-run banks also implemented a fewer number of automated teller machines.

The eight banks set up 84 ATM booths across the country while the PCBs and the FCBs set up 5,148 ATM booths.
The BKB and the RAKUB are yet to launch any ATM booth.

Of the eight state-run banks, Sonali Bank issued the highest number of debit and credit cards. The bank issued 37,719 cards of which 489 were credit cards.

The BB report on the bank cards, first of its kind, showed that all banks issued 72,32,554 debit cards and 8,53,280 credit cards to their clients as on August 31, 2013.
The PCBs issued 67,92,800 and the FCBs 3,82,356 debit cards as on August 31, 2013.
The PCBs issued 7,32,981 and the FCBs 1,19,830 credit cards.
Nine foreign commercial banks and 39 local commercial banks are now operating their banking operation in the country.
Another BB official said card-based transactions through ATM booths and online increased significantly in the last few years.
‘For this reason, the state-run banks are gradually losing their competitiveness because of their poor card-based payment system,’ he said.
The official said, ‘Transaction is now easier and safer due to card-based payment system.’
The prospect of card-based transactions is very bright as the country’s economic size gradually increased, he said.
Under the circumstances, the eight state-run banks should take initiatives to expand their card-based payment system, he added.

-AKM Zamir Uddin /http://www.newagebd.com/detail.php?date=2013-09-28&nid=67072#.UkZ579Ldei4

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