Fuel sta­tions in­tro­duces cash­less pay­ment

Bhutan Times - - Home - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

The dig­i­tal pay­ment or pay­ment through card at the fuel sta­tions in Thim­phu is ex­pected to make re­fu­el­ing quicker and eas­ier. In the mean­time, it will help the coun­try go cash­less and re­duce cor­rupt prac­tice, and pro­mote trans­parency.

Driv­ers in Thim­phu can now pay for fuel us­ing a new cash­less sys­tem, in­ter­net-based Point of Sale (PoS), in­tro­duced by Royal Mon­e­tary Author­ity (RMA) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the com­mer­cial banks and the de­part­ment of trade. The ser­vice was launched on 15 June, in Thim­phu.

The driv­ers can pay for the fuel with ATM or debit cards. An elec­tronic re­cip­i­ent will pop onto the ma­chine to con­firm that the driv­ers have paid the cor­rect amount and will have to sign for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

The ini­tia­tive was to pro­mote the use of dig­i­tal pay­ment ser­vices and re­duce the use of hard cash at fuel sta­tions where there are high vol­ume of cash trans­ac­tions.

The pro­mo­tion of dig­i­tal pay­ment ser­vices would min­i­mize costs as­so­ci­ated with print­ing cur­rency notes, cur­rency sort­ing, cash move­ments and trans­fers, stor­age and se­cu­rity among oth­ers.

The Gov­er­nor for RMA, Dasho Pen­jore, said that the vol­ume of petrol and diesel sold are recorded dig­i­tally. “We are gain­ing a huge mileage of dig­i­ti­za­tion, trans­parency, tax pur­poses,” he said, adding that when the sys­tem of tax­a­tion comes in good sys­tem, the gov­ern­ment gives a good plat­form to use the sys­tem.

The ob­jec­tive of in­tro­duc­ing PoS was to en­hance the timely de­liv­ery of pub­lic ser­vices. Eco­nomic Af­fairs Min­is­ter Lekey Dorji at the launch­ing cer­e­mony, said, “Peo­ple do not have to carry hard cash to avail them­selves of the ser­vices.”

Ly­onpo also said that sys­tem will help curb the mis­use of cash. “It will help to re­duce the risk of cor­rup­tion.”

The Bank of Bhutan (BoB) dis­trib­uted the PoS ma­chines for free to the five fuel sta­tions in Thim­phu. The staff at fuel sta­tions has been trained to use the por­ta­ble PoS.

The PoS ser­vice is en­abled through the Bhutan Fi­nan­cial Switch, a cen­tral­ized pay­ment plat­form that al­lows in­ter­op­er­abil­ity of debit or ATM cards amongst the mem­ber bank.

The gov­ern­ment has recorded 87,612 ve­hi­cles ply­ing on 11,177 kilo­me­ter of the Bhutanese road. Of the to­tal, 2,200 are pool ve­hi­cles while 5,500 ve­hi­cles are un­der Druk Hold­ing and In­vest­ment and 532 are taxis.

The cash­less fuel trans­ac­tions will be ex­tended to Paro and Phuntshol­ing, and then grad­u­ally roll out in other fuel sta­tions across the coun­try. It is ex­pected to more and more fuel con­sumers are go­ing cash­less to pay for fuel.

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