Bangladesh-based Eastern Bank in partnership with Visa has launched Visa Hajj and Umrah Travel prepaid card, which aims to offer hassle free international travel for pilgrims, along with a secure and reliable way to pay.

The new product can be used as an alternative to paper based instruments like Traveller’s cheque or currency notes for the pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj and Umrah. Pilgrims can load required foreign currency at home by paying in Bangladeshi Taka.

Commenting on the launch, Ali Reza Iftekhar, managing director and CEO of the bank, said: "EBL was the first bank in Bangladesh to launch Hajj Prepaid Cards in 2010. For the last four years we have been serving the payment need of the pilgrims with highest level of dedication. This year onward we will be offering card users added features and benefits."

Uttam Nayak, Visa’s group country manager for India and South Asia, said: "We are delighted to launch the Hajj Visa Travel Prepaid card with Eastern Bank Limited to enable customers with unmatched convenience and reliability. The card will offer greater ease to customers travelling to Saudi Arabia and help save on travelling expense by allowing them to spend smartly."

The cardholders can avail benefits such as issue of cards without any fee, free mobile phone SIM with discounted call tariff for Bangladesh, exclusive discounts and other benefits extended across Makkah, Madina and Jeddah.

The users of the card can have access to local currency from Visa ATMs at Saudi Arabia, convenient payment for purchases in local currency at merchants across the world and protection against fraudulent transactions if the card is lost or stolen.

EBL Hajj and Umrah Cards are available at all EBL branches across the country.