Another incident affects Bank of Bhutan account holders

ICT: Many customers who attempted to avail a Bhutan Telecom (BT) promotion last week did not receive the requested top-ups nor the 40 percent bonus but still had their accounts deducted.

Many who attempted to top-up using BT’s B-Wallet service or the Bank of Bhutan’s (BoB) M-BoB mobile application on August 12, were informed by SMS of the failed transaction the next day. But on checking their accounts, many found that money had been deducted.

As of yesterday, many customers had still not received the top-up nor got their money back.

The problem affected only BoB account holders. It has been learned that both BoB and BT are currently examining the issue on a case by case basis.

BT spokesperson, Sonam Choden, attributed the high number of B-Wallet users with BoB accounts for the problem. “The failure of transaction from B-Wallet via BoB is because of the huge B-Wallet customer base holding BoB accounts,” she said. “During offer time, customers use the service at the same time which sometimes clogs the network and hence congestion occurs.”

It is not known why transactions made through the M-BoB mobile application also failed.

And this has raised another issue among affected customers. While making their complaints to BT some were told they would not have received the bonus anyway, if they had used the bank’s mobile application.

Customers have pointed out on social media that there were not aware that using the M-BoB mobile app would not qualify as an e-load. They have also pointed out that using B-Wallet would have been impossible anyway as a result of congestion.

“We have mentioned in our SMS and announcements in media that bonus is available only in e-Load and B-Wallet recharges,” Sonam Choden said.

BT has also responded on social media that M-BoB is a BoB application and therefore not configurable for such promotions.

Some customers did not understand why using M-BoB could not qualify for the bonus when it can be used to top-up electronically.

“Surprised BT has already started to differentiate between their products and that of M-BoB services. At the end, the goal is to provide BT customers with good services,” said Nawang P Phuntsho, a BT customer who was affected by the transaction failures on August 12.

Sonam Choden pointed out that BoB account holding customers will still receive the 40 percent bonus or discount. “If the transaction was made from e-Load and B-Wallet, not M-BOB, they will definitely receive the promotion provided they have made the transaction on that day,” she said.

On what is being done to resolve the issue and prevent further incidents, Sonam Choden pointed out that the BoB is upgrading their system. “The congestion takes place mostly for the B-Wallet recharges via BoB account … However, since BoB is in the process of upgrading their system, we are hoping that the B-Wallet service congestion problem will be solved.”

In an earlier interview, it was pointed out by a BoB spokesperson that such congestion problems only occur when BT provides promotional top-up offers. While a number of fixes has been attempted by the bank in solving the B-Wallet issue, they have not been successful. The bank anticipates that the problem will be fixed when its core banking system is in place in January 2016.

By Gyalsten K Dorji