Bhutan National Bank yesterday launched two additional features of RRCO tax payments and Bhutan Telecom utility bill payment on its mobile application BNB mPAY.

Chief executive officer  (CEO) of BNBL, Kipchu Tshering, said the launch of the additional feature was aimed at enriching customer experience. “The system will help decrease late filing of taxes and reduce the risk of penalty and default.”

He said that the tax payment system enabled by the mobile application was safe and secure. “When it comes to paying taxes many people go through long process, standing in the queue and making cash payments.”

The RRCO tax payment feature was developed by integrating BNB mPAY with the revenue and administration management information system (RAMIS) that was launched by the department of revenue and customs to facilitate online tax payment in 2015.

Finance Secretary Nim Dorji said it was important that simple system improvement could increase tax collection. “The introduction of RAMIS helped us to reduce leakages in the tax system. Now with this integration, we are hopeful that every user, especially the account holders of BNB, would be able to make tax obligation on time.”

He said that tax revenue was one of the important indicators of self-sustainability. “If we are to achieve self-sufficiency, the first indicator is financial sustainability. Tax revenue and tax collection systems are considered important indicators of how strong the governance is and how we are going to achieve economic self-reliance.”

He added that such initiatives were essential as the country was preparing to graduate from the least developing country to middle-income country. “Everybody will be looking at this kind of services,” he said. “Digitalisation of economy is at the core of all development agenda.”

According to the revenue report, in the financial year 2017-18, of the total 91,000 payment transactions 66,000 were made at the RRCOs and 25,000 at the bank counters. A total cash transaction stands at 49,000.

The additional feature are expected to reduce cash transaction and space inconveniences at RRCOs.

One of the 10 parameters of ease of doing business ranking is the tax payment system. Bhutan stands at 15 out of 190 economies in the world currently.

Bhutan Telecom utility payment feature enables bill payments related to mobile postpaid, broadband and landline.

The feature is made available through the development of aggregator, which would serve as a bridge between the bank system and billing system of Bhutan Telecom to enable online bill payment.

The initiative, according to Bhutan Telecom’s CEO Karma Jurme, was related to the organisation’s effort to provide mobile financial services besides its core mandate of telecommunication services.

The collaborative initiative is expected to benefit Bhutan telecom by helping it restore temporarily suspended services owing to non-payment of bills and help activate prepaid broad bands.