RuPay card to be launched during Indian Prime Minister’s visit

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RuPay card will be formally launched during the state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the country this month.

RuPay is India’s card scheme created by the National Payments Corporation of India. It was conceived to fulfill Reserve Bank of India’s vision to offer a domestic, open-loop, multilateral system which allows all Indian banks and financial institutions in India to participate in electronic payments. It is made in India, for every Indian to take them towards a “less cash” society.

RuPay allows Indian travelers and tourists to

use the card to withdraw money from ATMs in Bhutan. It also allows for cashless payment. 

An official from the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) said that any visitor from India carrying the RuPay card can use ATMs and POS machines in Bhutan to withdraw cash in Ngultrum from their bank account in India or to make purchases using POS machines.

“These are our earnings and will add to reserves,” said the official from RMA.

As per records of monthly statistical bulletin of RMA, Rupee reserve stands at 17.53bn as of March this year.

The official from RMA mentioned that the integration is expected to pave way for RuPay brand to become one of the growing payment networks in the cards space at par with the dominating players. 

The interconnection of these two switches would not only usher safe and convenient banking but also help realize cost-effective and cashless transactions by formalizing the flows into mainstream banking system in both countries through proper legal and regulatory frameworks.

It is mainly initiated due to lack of proper mechanisms to facilitate cross-border payments between nations, however some of the transactions are believed to be executed through cash that is unrecorded at the formal banking systems.

According to the Tourism Monitor report, 191,836 Indian tourists visited the country which constitute of 69.99% of the total arrivals in 2018.

The Indian PM, Narendra Modi, launched the RuPay scheme in Singapore on May 31, 2018.

Lyonchhen Dr. Lotay Tshering visited India on December 28, 2018 and PM Narendra Modi announced that RuPay cards would be introduced in Bhutan too.

The Bhutanese Ngultrum is fixed at a one-to-one exchange rate with the Indian rupee making settlement easy for both countries.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu

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