|Photo: Penstar Collection|
Another development in 2011 that we can be proud of is in the field of delivering financial services to the public. Now if you have one ATM card, you can withdraw cash from any Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) of any banks in the country. This means you need not at all have to bear the burden and hassle of carrying cash in your hemchu. Thanks to Bhutan Financial Switch (BFS), which RMA installed in December 2011.
This would go a long way in promoting a cashless society and at the same time, Bhutanese now have the financial convenience, which was limited in the past. And with the introduction of ATMs customers no more had to wait in line in the crowded branch offices to withdraw money.
But when more and more people possessed ATM cards, more and more people came in flocks and slowly, lines started to form around ATMs. People started to complain. But now if many customers are lined up to do the transaction, then you can move on to another ATM in the vicinity and save your time. And all these you can do it free of cost – withdraw your own money with no cost at all! So, now you just need an ATM card (of course you need to replenish your bank accounts more often now) and travel trouble free.
Hey by the way, BOB has started issuing VISA domestic debit cards, which can be used in India, Nepal and Bhutan and Druk PNB is in the process of issuing Maestro debit cards – meaning we need not worry about carrying cash in our pockets while traveling abroad. You can also use your ATM/debit cards to make payments through Point of Sale terminals in shops and petrol/gas stations or Bhutan Telecom counters.