The Bangladesh Bank on Thursday allowed international debit and credit cardholders to purchase air tickets online from Bangladesh for journeys outside the country.
For example, an international credit or debit cardholder can now buy tickets for the New York-Philadelphia or SingaporeKuala Lumpur routes from Bangladesh.
Cardholders can purchase the tickets by making payments online using the cards before proceeding abroad, said a BB circular issued on Thursday.
Earlier, cardholders were only allowed to purchase such tickets after departing from the country.
The circular also allowed Bangladeshi travel operators to provide ticketing services to travellers proceeding abroad for journeys to destinations outside Bangladesh against payment by international cards, it said.
In this context, the banks were asked to provide acquiring services to travel operators in Bangladesh for capturing online payments by international cards against sales of air tickets, the circular added.
The BB, however, said that the travel operators must have the relevant registrations or permission along with membership with trade association representing the sector.
The travel operators are supposed to have tie-up arrangements with internationally recognised tour operators or airlines for execution of such transactions.
For capturing payments against such sales to foreign nationals or non-residents residing abroad or in Bangladesh, acquiring service of the banks would a requirement.
The authorised dealer banks will retain the captured money in foreign currency margin accounts of the travel operators for settlement of payments abroad after adjustment of commission, refund and taxes.
The circular also allowed Bangladeshi travel operators to receive payment in foreign currency from international cards against hotel booking and sales of railway and bus tickets for destinations outside Bangladesh.
Travel operators said that the facility would help travellers to purchase air, railway, bus tickets and hotel booking from local travel operators at reasonable cost.
An official of central bank said that the BB has continuously been updating regulations to facilitate business.
The new rules will support travellers to organise their travel plans through local travel operators by simply using their international cards.
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