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Bangladesh Cards & Payments Market Report

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  • Published Date: January 2021


A complete review of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Bangladesh, with perceptive observation backed by significant data.
Although the pandemic has negatively impacted purchase volume and transactions, a revolution centred around mobile payment and P2P methods is underway. This is finally making inroads on cash usage.
In 2020, mobile payments at the POS exceeded debit card purchase volume. The Bangladesh credit cards market is tiny but profitable, with a ceiling of 20% interest recently set for credit cards. Appropriately licensed non-bank entities have been rolling out white-label ATMs and POS terminals, extending the acceptance reach.
An interoperable QR code, Bangla QR, is currently being deployed, which should find popular favour given the ease of use, interoperability and the increasing penetration of compatible phones.

Key takeaways from this Bangladesh payments report

How mobile payments are transforming the market.
Why white-label hardware licensing is key.
How contactless has fared since its debut.
Where the best growth prospects lie.
How the Bangladesh debit card is viewed by consumers.

Our latest report covers topics such as:
Consumer payment trends: the split between cash, card, transfers, digital wallets, direct debit as well as buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) trends.
Bangladesh credit card data: including profit pools, profit drivers, country comparisons.
Acquirers and processors' market share: partnership prospects and online and e-commerce opportunities.
Regulatory environment: latest developments and forecast trends


  • More than 90% of consumers still pay for their goods and services by cash. However, the pandemic has pushed Bangladeshis to move towards cashless.
  • On the back of high mobile penetration, mobile financial services have been broadening financial inclusion, threatening traditional banking services.
  • The Bangladesh payments environment is likely to become a hybrid of cash and mobile payments, following the heavy promotion of cashless options.
  • Bangladesh's e-commerce sector, which first became a billion-dollar industry in 2020, is showing strong growth during the coronavirus crisis, with consumers now able to use both debit and credit cards to make online payments.
  • There has been an impressive increase in retail banking touchpoints over the last several years. In addition, agent banking was introduced by the central bank in 2013 and has since become a catalyst for financial inclusion.
  • Despite the low credit card penetration, there has been strong growth in the absolute number of active credit cards.
  • The Bangladesh cards market is dominated by debit cards, which have room to grow much further.
  • The credit card industry, albeit microscopic, is a profitable one, with an estimated pre-tax profit in 2020 of $36 million.
  • American Express has taken over as the leading credit card network by cards in issue, followed by Visa, which leads on billed volume.
  • The leading debit card network by cards in issue is a proprietary scheme issued by Dutch-Bangla Bank.

Bangladesh Payments Research | Report Contents

Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Cards market
Mobile payments
Profit pool
The networks
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Online acquiring
Regulatory and other cards market information

Bangladesh Country Report Data Tables
(All 2014-23F unless otherwise stated)

1: Demographic and economic indicators.
2: Ownership of key consumer devices.
3: Internet usage by population.
4: Access points: 2014-21F.5: Account penetration.
6: Consumer payment trends 2014-21F.
7: B2C e-commerce payment methods: 2014-21F.
8: Total cards payment metrics.
9: Contactless card numbers: 2019-23F
10: Credit card numbers.
11: Total credit cards metrics.
12: Credit cards profitability indicators.
13: Debit cards numbers.
14: Debit cards metrics.
15: prepaid/e-money cards metrics.
16: Mobile money metrics.
17: Mobile proximity payment metrics: 2016-23F.
18: Mobile P2P payments: 2016-23F.

19: Profit pool: credit card numbers, billed volumes, outstandings, interest incomes, net interest revenues, merchant revenues, card fee revenues, other non-interest incomes, total revenues, net credit losses, operating expenses, total expenses, pre-tax profits, merchant service charges, rollover rates, APR, net credit losses to outstandings, operating costs to revenues, ROA (pre-tax profits to outstandings).

(All below 2014-21F unless otherwise stated) +1

20: Networks' credit card market shares.
21: Networks' credit card data numbers.
22: Networks' credit card billed volume.
23: Networks' number of credit card transactions.
24: Networks' average credit card transaction value.
25: Networks' debit card market shares.
26: Networks' debit card numbers.
27: Networks' debit card billed volume.
28: Networks' number of debit card transactions.
29: Networks' average debit card transaction value.
30: Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers: 2016-21F.
31: Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings: 2016-21F.
32: Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers: 2016-21F.
33: Merchant acquirer credit card market share: 2020E.
34: Credit card merchant service charges: 2014-23F.
35: Merchant acquirer debit card market share: 2020E.
36: Debit card merchant service charges: 2014-23F.
37: Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships: -
38: Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships: -
39: Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers: 2020E.
40: Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions: 2020E.
41: Online merchant acquirer market share: 2020E.

Bangladesh Country Report | Selected Extracts

Demographics and Economy
Bangladesh is now considered one of the success stories in contemporary South Asia: in October 2020, it emerged that its per-capita GDP will exceed India's by the end of 2020, a shock to the status quo.

Payments Environment
Bangladesh is still predominantly a cash-oriented society. While the government is pushing for a reduction of cash use, it remains integral to daily life, in particular in rural areas.

Cards Market
By the end of 2020, the total number of active payment cards in issue, not including prepaid cards, in Bangladesh amounted to an estimated 26 million, up from eight million in 2014.

Mobile Payments
Verisk Financial Research (VFR) expects continued strong growth in billed volume for the forecast years. Billed volume is expected to close out the year at over $63 billion in 2020, increasing from just under $12 billion in 2014.

Profit Pool
Although tiny given the country's population, the Bangladeshi credit card industry is profitable, with an estimated pre-tax profit in 2020 of $36 million.

Card Networks
Credit cards comprise a tiny slice of the payments market in Bangladesh, representing a mere two cards per 100 adults in 2020. The leading debit card network in Bangladesh is a proprietary scheme issued by DBBL. Visa is the leading network by billed volume.

Key Retail Banks and Issuers
There is a total of 60 scheduled banks currently in operation in Bangladesh: these may be split into six different groupings.

Acquiring and Processing
The City Bank is the leading credit card issuer, as well as being the leading acquirer of credit cards at the POS. It is also the largest acquirer of debit cards at the POS.

Online Acquiring
The online acquiring and processing market in Bangladesh has expanded greatly in recent years. The total amount of online acquired billed volume came to an estimated $532 million in 2020.

Regulatory and Markets Information
The World Bank, in a report on regulatory predictability, highlighted ineffective banking regulation and supervision as challenges that have weakened the Bangladeshi banking sector.

Bangladesh Payments Report | Entities Referenced

Agrani Bank
American Express
Apple Pay
Bangla QR
Bangladesh Bank
Bangladesh Commerce Bank
Bangladesh Development Bank
Bangladesh Krishi Bank
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission
Bank Al-Falah
Bank Asia
City Bank
Commercial Bank of Ceylon
Compass Plus
Diners Club
Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited
Eastern Bank
Electronic Money Transfer System
FIS Global Services
Google Pay
Grameen Bank
Habib Bank
Islami Bank Bangladesh
Janata Bank
Lanka Bangla Finance
Meena Click
Mutual Trust Bank
National Bank of Pakistan
Prime Bank
Probashi Kallyan Bank
Rajshahi Krishi Unnoyon Bank
Regulatory Fintech Facilitation Office
Rupali Bank
Samsung Pay
Sonali Bank
Southeast Bank
Standard Chartered Bangladesh
State Bank of India
SunGurd System Access
The City Bank
Tieto Enator
TPS Pakistan
United Commercial Bank
University of Dhaka
Woori Bank
World Bank


Reports include detailed market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring, retail banking, and consumer credit in the Asia Pacific region. Analysts use primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and finance experts.

See more Asia-Pacific Country Reports, explore cards & payments research reports for markets worldwide or view our latest reports.

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