BB raises MFS transaction limit

Credit card payment deadline extended

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has extended the transaction limit for mobile financial services (MFS) following the imposition of a nationwide 7-day lockdown from March 5 to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

 The central bank has also extended the deadline for payment of credit card bills.

Person-to-person (P2P) transaction cap through MFS has also increased to Tk 200,000 per month from existing Tk 75,000 per month, said a circular issued by the BB on Sunday.  

No charge can be imposed on transactions up to Tk 40,000 per month in P2P and the maximum limit for each transaction will be at Tk 10,000, it said.

But the cash-out charge through MFS will remain as usual.   

In the circular the central bank said credit card bills cannot be taken during lockdown. The bill payment date must be extended to the next five working days after the lockdown ends and no delay fee will be charged for this extended period. 

Interest can be charged only on the principal amount and in addition, no new interest can be charged on the next month's bill of credit card on the previous month's bill interest.

 The central bank directive further asked the banks to take all necessary measures to keep all types of digital transactions, including ATM, uninterrupted during the lockdown.

 The central bank also asked banks and other financial institutions (FIs) to prepare a business continuity plan (BCP) to deal with any crisis in the coming days.

 BCP is defined as the capability of an organisation to continue the delivery of products or services in any disrupted situation like a heavy quake or lockdown.

 Such a plan with a critical service management team will have to be prepared by banks and financial institutions.

 Earlier, BB fixed operation period of commercial banks from 10am to 12.30pm from April 5 in line with a fresh lockdown declared by the government to contain the spread of Covid-19.

  "Commercial banks will remain open from 10am to 12.30pm from April 5 to 11 except weekends and public holidays," said the BB. 

 BB asked banks to ensure all health instructions issued earlier by the government and the central bank regarding the attendance of officials-employees and working atmosphere in bank branches across the country.

 Banks must ensure all banking activities such as deposits and withdrawal of money, issuance of demand draft/pay-orders, receiving deposits, treasury invoice, disbursement of allowances and donations under different social safety net programmes of the government, payment against remittances, inter-bank and internal transactions, receiving utility bills and other transactions under BB's payment /clearing systems.