Interbank Withdrawal: Interbank withdrawals from automated teller machines will be charged Nu 5 for every transaction, starting March this year.
Since the facility was launched a year ago, the cost for interbank ATM transaction has been borne by the banks.
For example, when a customer having an account with the Bank of Bhutan withdrew cash from a Druk PNB ATM, the bank of Bhutan paid Nu 18 to Druk PNB for each transaction.
From March, Nu 13 will still be borne by the banks, but Nu 5 will have to be paid by the customer withdrawing from different ATMs.
An official from a private bank said the new change had to be adopted, so that banks could focus on establishing new ATM machines.
Since customers have the choice to withdraw from any ATM, irrespective of where the customer has an account, it did not provide much incentive for the banks to open up new ATM machines, the official said.
This transfer of charges was decided in a meeting between the central bank officials and the chief executive officers of the local commercial banks this week.
The facility of interbank withdrawal was launched in December 2011. All the banks’ ATM machines were then connected under one switch, called the Bhutan financial switch, which is monitored by the central bank.
It was decided that the interbank transaction charges would be reviewed every year and, if need be, increase or transfer certain amount of charges to the customers gradually.
The Bhutan’s financial switch will also soon be connected with India’s national financial switch, under the national payments corporation of India, which was created by the reserve bank of India.
After the two switches are connected, Bhutanese ATM cards can be used to withdraw money from more than 86,000 ATM machines of 62 Indian banks connected to the Indian switch. Similarly Indian ATM cards can also withdraw money from any Bhutanese bank.
By Nidup Gyeltshen