Fuel stations introduces cashless payment
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.