The Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) is already working with the counterpart in India to launch the RuPay cards in Bhutan, Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said.

The announcement on the launch of RuPay cards was made during the prime minister’s state visit to India last month.

At a press meet on January 2, Lyonchhen said the card would benefit the people especially in the ease of doing business and also to travellers across the border besides minimising the practice of black currency.

“If you’re a member of that card, you can use the card to withdraw, do business, shop online at any level or unlimited figures of Indian currencies,” lyonchhen said. “Similarly, any Indian traveller coming to Bhutan need not worry about exchanging Indian currency at the border to get Ngultrum and can instead use the RuPay card.”

RuPay is an Indian domestic card scheme conceived and launched by the National Payments Corporation of India in 2012. It was created to fulfill the Reserve Bank of India’s desire to have a domestic, open loop, and multilateral system of payments in India. RuPay domestic card can be used in all Point of Sale (PoS) terminals or any online transaction just like any other Visa/Master Cards.

Lyonchhen said that today Bhutan is losing huge Indian currency at the border where people are practicing illegal business of INR exchange.

“But with the RuPay card, they can just walk into any of the regions in Bhutan and withdraw Ngultrum. Through this card, their Indian account would be operable in Bhutan,” lyonchhen said. “That would be the understanding RMA would have with Indian counter part.”

Lyonchhen said when Indians withdraw Ngultrum it would automatically deposit an equivalent amount of INR in Bhutan’s account, which is a huge advantage.

The RMA and Bank of Bhutan (BoB) are already working to open a BoB branch in Delhi, India, he said.

“It is just a matter of time, a slow but cautious approach into out developmental approach,” Lyonchhen said. “RuPay card will ease the Rupee crunch problem and curb the black currency market at the border.”

Yangchen C Rinzin