How a Bangladeshi entrepreneur can pay for international purchases
Your Business Credit
Elaine Pofeldt is a journalist whose articles on entrepreneurship and careers have appeared in Fortune, Working Mother, Money and many other publications. She is a former senior editor at Fortune Small Business magazine and an entrepreneur herself, as co-founder of 200kfreelancer.com, a website for independent professionals. She writes "Your Business Credit," a weekly column about small business and credit, for CreditCards.com.
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Dear Your Business Credit,
from Bangladesh. I am looking for a prepaid card that could replace a credit card
for online transactions. I need this card since the Central Bank of Bangladesh
does not allow international credit card transactions, but my business often
requires me to buy traveling products with a credit card. Now I need a credit
card from a third country. Any idea of existence of such services? --
to look for a creative solution. It's important for entrepreneurs to have
adequate access to credit to run and grow their businesses.
some credit products available in your country that you may not have considered.
News reports, including a May 2013 article in The Daily Star, say the Central Bank of
Bangladesh recently allowed the use of international credit cards to make
online purchases of goods and services, so it is worth contacting your bank to
find out if it has any international cards to offer. The Daily Star reports that payments cannot exceed $100 per
transaction, so you may have to talk with your card issuer about how to handle
payments for larger amounts. Perhaps there is a way to break up large payments
into smaller charges.
Bank also OKd the use of international credit cards for travel-related
payments abroad, online hotel booking and online payment of fees in December
2012, according to the paper. You are allowed to make up to $1,000 in such
purchases a year, in addition to your annual travel quota.
quota, according to another Daily Star article, allows a Bangladeshi citizen to spend up to $2,000 annually in countries
that are part of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation -- which includes
Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka -- and $5,000 in other
countries. However, the $100 limit for individual purchases still applies.
in Bangladesh offer international credit cards to residents that allow you to
do business in other currencies. For instance, the well-known Standard
Chartered Bank offers an international credit card denominated in U.S. dollars for
resident Bangladeshi nationals who have recently returned from overseas -- but
you must open a resident foreign currency deposit account to get such a
If you have U.S.
clients, another solution to think about is Payoneer. Payoneer's US Payment Service
allows you to receive payments from a select group of U.S. companies. The funds
are deposited directly into your Payoneer account, and you can spend the money
by using a prepaid debit MasterCard. Payoneer charges a fee equal to 1 percent
are actively receiving payments from Payoneer's partner companies, Payoneer
says that you may receive payments from other individuals via a "private load,"
subject to approval by Payoneer.
emphasizes, you must do work for the companies with which it has partnered to obtain
the debit card. How do you do that from Bangladesh? Typically, workers who use
Payoneer receive payments for work they have done from international online marketplaces
like oDesk, Freelancer, Fiverr and Clickbank, according to the Payoneer site. On
Fiverr, many entrepreneurs advertise that they will do quick jobs that tap
their skills for $5, so that may be a good way to get started. Offering
marketable skills through such a venue may help you supplement your revenue
streams -- and ultimately get you the debit card you want.
Payoneer published the story of an entrepreneur
from Algeria that describes how
he obtained a debit card through Payoneer
while building his business. This
is a roundabout solution, but if the offerings from local banks are not working for
you, it's worth considering.
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Published: August 12, 2013