Whether you’re traveling to Bangladesh or sending money there, you’ll need to convert your currency to the Bangladeshi taka. This guide gives you essential facts about Bangladesh’s money along with tips about exchange rates and money transfers.
Bangladesh currency 101
- The Bangladeshi taka (BDT) is issued by the Central Bank of Bangladesh.
- It’s divided into 100 poisha (sometimes spelled as “poysha”,) though most people in the country refer to all money as simply “taka.” That’s because the word taka means money or currency in Bangla.
- Until 1971, the Indian rupee (INR) was used in Bangladesh, when taka banknotes were introduced.
- 2011 saw a new series of taka banknotes released, each containing a watermark for security.
Currency exchange explained
The taka exchange rate is set by the dealer banks and they change based on the current demand and supply. The USD/BDT rates are based on inter-bank exchange rates in Dhaka. When exchanging between BDT and other currencies, the rates will be based on New York and Dhaka closing exchange rates.
Exchange rates are calculated based on:
- Interest rates;
- The demand for the currency in other countries;
- Government debt behind the currencies;
- The import and export activity of both countries; and
- The stability of each country’s economy.
These factors affect the exchange rate at any given time.
At the time of publication, the currency exchange rate between USD and BDT is 84.8. That means $1USD is equivalent to $84 BDT.
Other currency pairs vary, and all currency pairs will change often. You can find many free currency converters online with a quick Google search.
Why is taka conversion so high?
There are many reasons it takes many taka to buy a single dollar or pound, and that’s because of Bangladesh’s inflation rate, interest rates, government debt, and the economy’s volatility. That said, Bangladesh is considered to have a healthy economy these days, with a robust GDP that has recently surpassed that of India.
In turn, this growth is likely to make the taka stronger against currencies like the U.S. dollar, Swiss franc, or the Indian rupee.
It’s important to remember that many factors will impact exchange rates at any given time. For this reason, you’re more likely to save money on international transfers with lower fees rather than waiting for a better exchange rate. You can read more at our guide to international exchange rates here.
Sending money to Bangladesh: converting to taka
You basically have two options when you decide to send money to Bangladesh. In order to convert your dollars, pounds, or other currency into taka, you must choose between either a banking institution or a money transfer service.
- Banks: You can convert any number of currencies into taka using a bank. Be it a New Zealand dollar to taka, GBP to taka, Pakistani rupee to taka, or other, you can transfer money to a Bangladesh bank and they’ll convert the currency automatically. Alternatively, you can send a check in your currency and the recipient or bank will be able to cash it in their local currency. Both methods incur fees, typically a percentage of the money you send.
- Money Transfers: If you are looking to reduce the fees you pay, a money transfer service is usually a good alternative to a bank. That’s because these services have different fee structures and they often offer lower fees overall.
Sending money from Bangladesh
If you’re sending money from Bangladesh to another country, you can either use a Foreign Currency Demand Draft or make an online transfer.
In either case, talk to your bank of choice about your options. Some banks will require you to visit the branch in person to send money outside of Bangladesh and there may be a minimum or maximum amount. Additionally, you may have to pay a Goods and Services Tax (GST) for each transaction.
What about exchanging taka outside of Bangladesh?
If you’re outside of Bangladesh and you have taka you would like to convert to another currency, you can exchange the currency at a foreign exchange desk at an airport or any bank.
An airport exchange desk will typically be the most expensive.
If you need money fast, you can head to an ATM to withdraw in the local currency.
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