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SCB, EBL ban using cards to pay Uber

  • Published at 06:25 pm November 20th, 2019

Banks say they did so to protect cardholders' foreign travel dollar endorsement limits

Two major banks in the country, one foreign and the other private commercial bank, have banned paying Uber using cards, as their use is affecting cardholders' yearly foreign travel dollar endorsement limits.

Standard Chartered Bangladesh and Eastern Bank Limited (EBL) on Sunday stopped allowing payment through their cards for Uber services — rideshare and food delivery.

Recently, the banks notified all their cardholders not to make payments for global ridesharing company Uber in cards in Bangladesh. Other banks are waiting for Bangladesh Bank direction. 

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Ziaul Karim, head of brand and communication of EBL, said: “Our bank stopped card transactions for Uber services due to regulatory restrictions.”

“Any card payment for Uber services is settled in dollars as the company has global payment system for cards. As it is a ridesharing company, card payment from Bangladesh cut the foreign travel allowance of the country's card holders. Travel allowance in card is only applicable when a Bangladeshi national use his/her card while traveling abroad,” Ziaul explained.

“So per Bangladesh Bank rules we took the step,” he added.

Bitopi Dash Chowdhury, head of Standard Chartered corporate affairs, confirmed that the bank restricted card payments for Uber services. 

The city bank is waiting for the central banks' final direction to restrict card payments for Uber services. 

A senior official of the city bank told Dhaka Tribune that the bank already sought instruction from the central bank in this regard.

As per BB rules, Bangladeshi citizens can endorse up to $12,000 a year as travel allowance.

The central bank recently made mandatory to take prior permission from issuing banks before buying products and services from abroad via credit card.

The BB is a circular on November 14 asked all commercial bank to follow the new instruction in this regard.

The central bank also provided a sample of online transaction authorization form, in which the international cardholders have to take approval from issuing bank before making payment.

The circular said that if the bank was satisfied with the information provided in the form, it would activate the international card for payment. 

In a single transaction, the cardholders would be allowed to buy products or services worth $300 at best, the circulars said.

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