English | Dzongkha Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Still far from becoming a cashless society

Aug 29, 2012

While many people are still unaware about the use of Point of Sale (POS) machines, those who know are not willing to use it. Bhutan introduced the Point of Sale machines in 2007 in an attempt to go cashless and recently made operation of POS terminals possible. POS provides an alternative to cash and cheque transactions.

More than 100 vendors in Thimphu have the facility.  Bhutan Telecom is one of them. But it hasn’t been able to attract more than eight POS customers a day. Similarly the Motithang BOD, also gets at the most four customers, who uses POS, a day. Style, a clothing store in Thimphu, has a maximum of three users a day.

Many people BBS spoke to said they are unaware of such facility. Apart from the lack of awareness, bank owners charge a certain amount of commission on every transaction made with their machines. This could be one reason why most of the merchants and vendors, even when they have these machines, don’t encourage their buyers to use it.

According to Bhutan National Bank’s Project Manager, Tapas Datta, Bhutan is cash based country. “In order to move to a plastic culture  as well as an electronically payment based business, we have to have some education and confidence,” he said “because you as  merchant have already sold out the item but that moment you don’t see the cash with your eyes, at that moment you are not sure what has happened to that cash.”

The Royal Monetary Authority’s IT director, Sherab Jamtsho, said they have devised initiatives to promote the usage of POS in the country. “We have earmarked a lot of initiatives through media, cartoon illustrations, announcement to the general public.” He said they are also planning to make educational materials and a website.



1 Comment for “Still far from becoming a cashless society”

  1. “Apart from the lack of awareness, bank owners charge a certain amount of commission on every transaction made with their machines”… tje pumpkin which can’t get through the door can be pushed through much smaller window…. expectation of bhutanese is very high. they want to step before placing stepping stone. why need to charge for the transaction. the machine itself saves the payment of the staff required if dealt with cash.

    no offense

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