Bank of Maldives (BML) has revealed that the amount of USD leaving the bank has increased due to online trading transactions.
In a virtual meeting to provide updates of the bank’s transactions during the Covid-19 pandemic, CEO and Managing Director of the country’s national bank, Tim Sawyer revealed that they decided to bring changes to payment methods through online trading platforms for USD.
As such, the bank will be converting the USD payments into MVR before depositing the payments to customers’ MVR accounts. This will be applicable for payments received through ‘Visa Direct’ and ‘Mastercard Send’.
Many customers have been utilizing their credit or debit cards to collect USD at the rate of MVR 15.42 to digital wallets and obtaining USD through USD accounts. They then trade the USD currency in other markets after withdrawing the payments through ATMs.
This has led to an increase in the amount of USD leaving the bank, stressed Sawyer, who added that they have seen a major drop in USD supply to the bank which led to the surfacing of challenges in providing USD for important transactions such as telegraphic transfer.
In this regard, BML took the measure regarding online payments in order to control the amount of USD leaving the bank, with the aim to maintain a steady supply of USD for important purposes.
Maldives economy was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic even before the first few cases surfaced in the country during March. While tourism is the largest source of USD into the country, income flow had come to a halt after the country’s tourism industry shut down for months. Maldives reopened borders for international travel on July 15.