According to startups, the international payment gateway that the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) initiated recently is not feasible for them to use.
The startups shared the use of international payment gateway had many requirements and it will be challenging for them to use it.
To avail payment gateway facilities, interested merchants would require fully functional and owned dynamic website, functional purchase or booking engine at website, merchant enrolment with bank for ecommerce and an account with the banks.
Many entrepreneurs shared that the international payment gateway will be more user friendly with tour companies. They mentioned that most startups would not even have proper websites for their business.
Entrepreneurs mentioned that for startups to create website, it will be very expensive since operational costs are very high. It costs a minimum of Nu 30,000 to create a website and for startups their monthly income would be around Nu 10,000 to Nu 15,000 only.
“To sell the products outside Bhutan requires product certification and international market access,” said an entrepreneur who did not want to be named.
One of the entrepreneurs shared that he took part in a competition outside Bhutan and won a cash prize worth US$ 21,500. However, he said that he can use this credit in Amazon web services, premium, Google suit and promotional credit cards but he is not able to use this service in Bhutan.
Entrepreneurs also suggested if they couls sell their products in the global e-commerce sites like Amazon and AliExpress and linked payment gateway with these e-commerce sites.
“The international payment gateway will not benefit entrepreneurs,” said an entrepreneur.
The entrepreneurs also questioned how effective cyber security is since it is a digital international payment gateway.
Similarly, they said that e-commerce business international payment gateway is one of their components in business and it is required in every sector not only in exports.
One said that for startups there is no immediate need for e-payment gateway as such because even though the products are launched in the websites there is no customer base.
He said they aggregate the local products on their websites and try to market it and sell the products.
“International payment gateway is a complement but it is not going to have any significance on the exports,” said founder of Druksell though they are using international payment gateway.
He said there are also lots of delivery issues while exporting the products. “While the products are being exported, the courier services in our country are not very sure on how they can export it. However when the products are being imported we know how it can be imported and from where the products can be procured.”
However, entrepreneurs agreed that international payment gateway will immensely benefit tour operators and airline sectors in the country.
Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu