Although fuel card and Point of Sales (PoS) machines were launched in Thimphu about a month ago, not many are using ATM cards or fuel cards to make payment at fuel stations.

Tandin Zangmo, a staff with Bhutan Oil Distributor (BoD) in Motithang, said that not many people are aware of the payment system.

“Very few people pay with cards,” she said.

Tej Bdr Darjee of Lungtenzampa BoD, said payment with cards work most of the time, but it takes time to pay with cards, leaving the people frustrated.

“Sometimes network doesn’t work and it takes at least five minutes to make payment with the cards.  Sometimes people forget their pin codes,” he said.

Card officer with Bank of Bhutan (BoB), Ashik Pradhan, said that people mostly carry cash and make the payment immediately after refuelling.

Robin Mongar, Manager of Bhutan Telecom’s Internet Provider Services, said that the network could have become slow because of migration of system to a new operating centre.

“Equipment used to be scattered and were in separate places.  Now, everything will be centralised in the same room,” he said. He added that there have been no complaints or calls regarding the PoS machines.

Jigme Tsheltrim, Card Officer with BoB, said that the bank trained the staff of all five oil depots to operate PoS machine.

“We receive calls mostly for the use of machine and wifi connection,” he said.

In-charge with Druk Petroleum, Tshering Dolma, said that she hasn’t faced any problem so far as many people do not use cards to make payments.

Ashik Pradhan said that people know about the system but are reluctant to make payments with cards.

He said that a meeting would be called to discuss the progress and status of the PoS fuel cards.

Rinchen Zangmo