Domestic payments saw an overall increase of 61.87% by volume and 27.60% by value
While digital banking has become an exceptionally significant channel for banks, an increasing number of customers also prefer using digital devices to conduct banking activities due to their simplicity and convenience.
As per the payment system report of the second quarter released recently by the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA), about 36.2mn transactions worth Nu 122bn were transacted through mobile banking apps and internet banking.
When compared to the same quarter of the previous year, there is an increase of 33.05% and 54.53% respectively.
The average value per transaction has increased from Nu 2,907 per transaction in the second quarter of 2021 to Nu 3,376 per transaction in the same quarter of this year.
The report states that domestic payments recorded a total of Nu 57.97mn transactions comprising intra and interbank domestic transactions worth Nu 226.39bn during the second quarter this year.
There is an increase of 61.87% by volume and 27.60% by value as compared to the second quarter of last year. The increase in the volume of domestic payments in the second quarter of 2022 is mainly because of the increase in the transactions of wallets, QR code payments, and payment gateway transactions.
Similarly, the increase in value is mainly due to the increase in the transactions of QR Code payments and wallets by 167.46% amounting to Nu 10.99bn, and 157.21% amounting to Nu 273.15mn respectively.
In addition, during the second quarter of 2022, international payments recorded 9,641 transactions of value Nu 226.41mn. There is an increase of 11.07% by volume; however, there is a decrease of 45.19% by value as compared to the same quarter the previous year.
The payment system report from April to June 2022, about thirty-six thousand new users subscribed to use the mobile banking apps making the active number of mobile banking subscribers 436,440 as of reporting date.
QR code payments saw a total of Nu 18.89mn transactions of value Nu 17.56bn during the second quarter of 2022, equivalent to 52.06% of the mobile banking transactions in terms of volume and 14.34% in terms of value.
The transactions have increased by 187.70% by volume and 167.46% by value when compared to the same quarter last year. The increase is because of the launch of Bhutan QR by the RMA in July 2021, which enabled the interoperable use of common codes issued by member banks.
QR scan code has been gaining popularity in shops, restaurants, cafes, and even in taxis, as they are contactless, touchless, and easy to use.
During the second quarter of this year, the banks have on-boarded 5,153 new QR code merchants taking the total QR issued till now to 47,623 which is an increase of 12.13% compared to the total merchant registration as of the first quarter this year.
However, if we compare it to the same quarter of the previous year, there is a decrease of 32.19% in the Bhutan QR code merchant registration. The drastic decrease was from Gasa Dzongkag with a 90.91% drop. They registered 33 QR Code merchants in the second quarter of 2021 but it has reduced to three in the same quarter of this year.
Similarly, Pemagatshel and Lhuentse Dzongkhag also saw 80.46% and 78.57% drop respectively. The decrease could be because of the availability of self-generating features on mobile banking apps that allows individuals and merchants to generate their own QR code for receiving payments.
The highest issuance is still in Thimphu Dzongkhag with 1,975 new registrations.
Wallet transactions have significantly increased by 227.07% and 157.21% by volume and value respectively as compared to the same quarter the previous year. This could be due to the addition of goBoB as one of the wallet service providers.
A total of Nu 1.38mn transactions worth Nu 446.90mn transactions were through the wallets during the second quarter of 2022.
Although a majority of wallet transactions are observed to be done for availing telco services like recharges, unlike the wallets provided by telcos, goBoB’s transaction pattern indicate increased usage for fund transfer and merchant payments.
During this quarter, 667,767 transactions amounting to Nu 365.77mn were transacted. In comparison to the same quarter previous year, there is an increase both in terms of volume and value by 109.42% and 71.54% respectively.
The card payments refer to cash withdrawal or transactions from ATM terminals in the country using domestic ATM cards. In second quarter 2022, a total of Nu 0.55mn transactions worth Nu 2.52bn were transacted.
Unlike other payment instrument, RMA found decreasing trend for card payments every quarter. In terms of volume, there is a decrease by 48.35% and in terms of value; there is a decrease by 37.35% as compared to the same quarter previous year.
Sonam Tashi from Thimphu