Staff reporter

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will jointly e-launch the second phase of the RuPay Card today.

The RuPay card scheme is a cross-border payment initiative between Bhutan and India, which is aimed at promoting the use of low-cost digital payment solutions and digital financial inclusion.

The first phase of the RuPay Card was jointly launched by the two Prime Ministers on August 17 during the state visit of the Indian Prime Minister to Bhutan last year.

The launch of RuPay card scheme in Bhutan is made possible by the interconnectivity of the Bhutan Financial Switch (BFS) with India’s National Financial Switch (NFS), which is operated by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).

According to a press release from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the interconnection of the BFS network with the RuPay network will provide safe and convenient banking, and also help realise cost effective and cashless transactions, thereby enhancing cross-border digital payments between the two countries.

Since the launching of Phase-I, a total of about 10,428 successful transactions amounting to INR 36.52 million have been made using the RuPay cards.

The launch of the second phase will enable Bhutanese travellers to India to use their local bank cards in all the access points offered by the banks in India.

The BNBL’s RuPay debit cards will be accepted at more than 100,000 ATMs and 2 million PoS terminals in India for cash withdrawal, balance inquiry and purchases.

The event will be attended by Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji, information and communications minister Karma Donnen Wangdi, Royal Monetary Authority Governor Dasho Penjore and bank CEOs.

From the Indian side, the launch will be attended by external affairs minister Dr S. Jaishankar, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr P.K. Mishra, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other senior officials.