There are no such rules and regulations that individuals are not allowed to seek donation through the social media platforms, says RMA
The question whether social media sites are legitimate platforms to raise fund has emerged among certain quarters of the people as they are rampantly used now a days for donation campaigns and to seek monetary donations.
The causes include soliciting donations and help for medical treatment, for religious purposes, education and for the livelihood of individuals who are in need of financial support.
Meanwhile, many online donation campaigns have been successful in the past. This is perhaps because there is no particular authority to monitor such donation campaigns and an individual seeking donation do not have to seek prior approval from any agencies.
According to the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA), there are no such rules and regulations that individuals are not allowed to seek donation through the social media platforms.
On the issue of fund raising, the RMA has approved the crowdfunding platform in 2019 and crowdfunding rules and regulations 2019 under the Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan (RSEB).
The policy head of RSEB, Dawa Dakpa said that through the crowdfunding platform we can say that it is a genuine purpose for seeking funds.
There are two types of crowdfunding, equity and donations-based crowdfunding, so far.
The crowdfunding rules and regulations 2019 states that an issuer intending to advertise its business will have appropriate content, proportion of content and presentation approach in order to allow the member to receive necessary and useful information for the use of services provided by the crowdfunding portal or for investment decision making, provided that the advertisement will comply with the not containing information that is false, overstated or distorted and not urging the member to make a decision to use the services or investment decision.
It also states that not implying or guaranteeing returns from investment; having appropriate information concerning risks associated with investment and shall notify the process for making inquiry for additional information on investment and in case of using or referring the information provided by other persons, such information shall come from reliable and up-to-date sources, and will clearly identify such sources.
RSEB’s Dawa Dakpa said anyone can apply for seeking funds, but there is process where verification is made and a committee decides whether to allow for crowdfunding fund.
“The verifications are made on cause basis,” he said.
He said after the fund is successfully raised, they also do follow-up on how the funds are being mobilized. “Crowdfunding platform is in a better position to and against frauds,” he said.
Cyber security issues
The cyber securities are one of the key issues for digital payment in the world.
The BtCIRT under the Department of IT and Telecom under the Ministry of Information and Communications is mandated to serve as a trusted and central coordination point of contact at national level for cyber security matters.
While the individuals when they donate money through digital payment, many tend to upload screenshots on the social media platforms without erasing their bank account numbers.
The central bank notifies the public to refrain from sharing and uploading screenshots of bank account numbers on the social media platforms.
In the notification of the RMA on Friday, it states that the central bank has come to note general public transferring funds for social cause take a screenshot and upload it on the social media page without erasing the bank account numbers.
The RMA, to promote safe digital transactions, urges not to share with anyone their ATM card details, not to share their password, personal identification number, one-time password, card verification value and unified payment interface personal identification number.
It also states that to refrain as far as possible from undertaking banking or other financial transactions through public, open or free Wi-Fi networks and not to store important banking data on mobile, email, electronic wallet or purse.
RSEB’s Dawa Dakpa said RSEB uses payment gateway for donation of money for crowdfunding platform.
He said that donors do not share any screenshot and their bank details. There is also transparency on the funds between the donors and campaigners on how the funds are being used.
Officials from BtCIRT said that while sharing screenshots one’s transaction publicly online, an individual is also sharing his/her bank account number which is their personal information. There is risk of identity theft when one openly shares their personal information.
Officials also mentioned that one thing that one must not do is to share one’s pin code to people online. Then there is a big risk of losing money to unauthorized people who may get access to your pin and thus your account. Citizens have to be extra vigilant of whom you are sharing your personal information with.
“If there is a need for you to demonstrate your bank transaction, sharing a journal number will meet the purpose and strictly avoid sharing it in group chats,” officials said.
The officials said that as per the cyber hygiene guideline, the advice is that personal information such as name, date of birth, address and location; account numbers are not to be shared anywhere.
With social media accounts also, the advice is to take control of who gets to see your information by changing the privacy settings and setting the account to private mode. With that users can choose to share information with just family or friends.
Dechen Dolker from Thimphu