DITT launched BIPS to make payment easier
The Department of Information Technology and Telecom (DITT), Ministry of Information and Communication, launched Bhutan Immediate Payment Service (BIPS) on 27 January in Thimphu.
The payment gateway project was expected to enable the interbank online transactions including online payments to public service and to enable interbank interoperability through the development of an ePayment Gateway Infrastructure.
The objective of the project was to set up a national level infrastructure to enable inter- bank interoperability, facilitate online payments between Citizens to Government, Citizens to Citizens, Business to Business, Government to Citizens, Government.
It was also to build the fundamental infrastructure necessary for eCom- merce. Deputy Chief ICT Officer of DITT, Sonam Penjor, said that in line with the e- Government master plan, DITT, MoIC has prioritized and initiated the project for development of e- Payment Gateway Infrastructure.
With the service provided, he said that citizens now can transfer funds between accounts maintained with BoB, BNB and Druk PNB.
The government under Government to Citizen ( G2C) implemented several online services to improve the delivery of citizen services since the 10th five year plan.
Besides, the financial institutions such as banks also provides electronic services such as internet banking, sms alerts and intra- fund transfer but he said, the service were provided only for the registered customers.
The G2C’s online services requiring payment component could not be delivered endto- end through online means because of lack of a national inter- bank immediate fund transfer infrastructure.
“Moreover, individuals were not able to transact electronically between accounts maintained with different banks,” Sonam Penjor said, “Thus, the citizens at large were not able to get the full benefits of end- to- end online services envisaged.”
Currently three major banks are connected to BIPS as member that includes BoB, BNB and Druk PNB banks. He said that the customers and citizens with the bank account in any of the three banks are expected to instant inter fund transfer between the accounts. “It can also facilitate payment of service charges or fees and taxes.”
The project was initiated in collaboration with DITT, MoIC, and Government to citizen, Royal Monetary Authority and financial institu- tions.
The ePayment Gateway solution, BIPS was developed at the cost of Nu. 15.63- million since March 2016 with financial support from the government of India.
The Thromde service payment under G2C service has been on boarded as of now and the critical services including RSTA, MoFA, MoEA and BCSEA are expected to follow within two to three months which in the process of integration.
The interbank online payment gateway was inaugurated by minister for information and communication, D. N Dungyel and Ambassador of India to Bhutan, Jaideep Sarkar.
The launching ceremony was attended by MoIC Secretary Dasho Karma W. Penjor, GNHC secretary Thinley Namgyel and RMA officiating Governor among others.