Interestingly, in a survey conducted in the GCC region, Visa found that, of customers who held both conventional and Islamic card products, nearly 46% preferred using their Islamic credit card over other cards while just 15% preferred their conventional credit card, making it a ‘top of wallet’ payment option.
Soumya Basu, Country Manager, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, Visa said, “Bangladesh is one of the key markets for Islamic Banking and has been instrumental in providing a number of novel ways to cater to its customers. Being committed to the market, Visa is constantly looking for ways to provide services most suitable to the local palate. We are delighted to launch a bespoke portfolio of card products, specially designed for Islamic Banking customers. We are eagerly looking forward to partner with banks and bring our Islamic card products to more Bangladeshi customers.”
To make life simpler, Visa has also launched a dedicated website for Islamic cardholders to help them search for information on travel, lifestyle, dining, shopping and numerous other categories, in addition to browsing and redeeming offers linked to their cards. Apart from lifestyle benefits, few issuing banks may have the provision for Islamic cardholders to make Zakat donations. Customers can also avail of more benefits, including international offers on the wider Visa Offers portal.
Bangladesh is home to roughly 35% of the world’s Islamic Banking customers and in the country, Islamic finance makes up more than 25% of the banking landscape today. Visa itself is no stranger to Islamic Banking and has similar offerings in other markets like the Middle East, Indonesia and Malaysia. For such cards, issuing banks can prohibit certain categories like gambling, dating, alcohol etc. Visa is currently working with multiple issuers to launch Islamic Banking cards in the market by July 2021.