BHUTAN FINANCIAL SWITCH (BFS)
Background

"With a view to inter-connect the ATMs, POS in the country and facilitate easy banking for the common man, the RMA conceptualized the idea of implementing the Bhutan Financial Switch".

The Bhutan Financial Switch (BFS) will facilitate connectivity between the Bank's Switches, and inter-bank payment gateway of various e-commerce transactions and activities both domestic and international.

The BFS has two components:

  1. BFS-ATM - Completed / launched by Hon'ble Prime Minister on 2nd December, 2011. In the absence of a common Financial Switch in the past, ATMs of banks were operated on a stand-alone basis and customers could withdraw cash only from ATMs belonging to the card issuing bank. However, BFS now facilitates interoperability of ATMs of all commercial banks. Customers can avail ATM facility of any bank as per the convenience.
  2. BFS-PoS - Completed/launched by Hon'ble Finance Minister on 12th July, 2012. The second component under BFS, the service of interoperability of Point of Sale (PoS): POS or point of sale is the location where a transaction occurs, so in that sense POS terminal is an equivalent of a cash register

Types of cards that will be accepted in the country:

Benefits of PoS:

POS Integration provide a valuable facility for visiting foreigners, promoting cashless transactions will enhance convenience and safety for customers and merchant businesses; support expansion of business clientele; help monitor the flow of transactions within the economy, improve transparency in business financial disclosure, as well as reduce costs associated with the printing of currency.

Interbank ATM & PoS Fees
Financial Non-Financial
Nu. 12 Nu. 8
Nu. 12 (PoS)
ATM Service Fees
Financial Non-Financial
Nu. 12 per transaction 0

Note:

BFS has two distinct fee structures:

  1. Interbank fee - This is the fee paid by the issuing bank to the acquiring bank since the customer of the issuing bank has availed the ATM services of the acquiring bank i.e. Nu. 18 and Nu. 8 for the financial and non-financial transaction respectively.
  2. ATM service fee - This is the fee charged by the issuing bank directly to their customer since the customer has availed the ATM service of the banks other than the issuing bank i.e. Nu. 5
MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA

Banks joining the BFS Network should meet the following criteria:

  1. Bank Should have valid banking license from Royal Monetary Authority.
  2. Bank should have current account with Royal Monetary Authority.
  3. Bank should hold RMA's NEFT Membership.
  4. Bank should route their ATM transactions through their ATM switch.