About Visa

How a simple commercial card is transforming cattle trading in Bangladesh




Cattle farmers form the backbone of the livestock industry in Bangladesh. Over 90% are based in rural areas and farming transactions can reach $1.4 trillion Taka (estimated US$12.7 billion) annually. Cash is the main way they pay and while it is a familiar way to transact, many farmers grapple with worries of counterfeiting, theft, and conflicts that can jeopardise their livelihoods.

Another challenge is that cattle farmers in Bangladesh are underbanked. Some 70% of farmers do not have access to formal financial services, deepening reliance on cash while preventing them from vital financial services that can accelerate their business. This includes short-term working capital, card and digital payments, and basic banking services to deposit and withdraw hard-earned cash safely.

The Bangladesh government, keen to bring more farmers into the financial system, saw commercial cards as an ideal first step. Together with Visa, it introduced the Smart Farmers card that places a range of financial services in cattle farmers' hands. As a credit card, cattle farmers can use it to access small sums of working capital against credit limits. As a debit card, it allows farmers to digitally pay and be paid for their livestock conveniently. Today, farmers can also store and withdraw their money through the card with peace of mind.

Within months, millions of Taka in cattle transactions have been digitised, offering greater security and convenience, enabling farmers to grow their livelihoods with certainty. Digitising the cattle markets also generates valuable data that institutions and the government can use to understand farmers’ needs, enabling further targeted efforts to improve digital and financial access for all.

Watch the video to see how the Visa Smart Farmers card is making a difference to cattle farming in Bangladesh.

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