Mobile banking

Wouldn’t you be happy if you could get your bank balance on your cell phone instead of having to go all the way to the bank?

Wouldn’t it be good if you could instruct your bank not to honour a cheque that you’d issued mistakenly?

Wouldn’t you like it if your bank informed you every time money was withdrawn from or deposited to your account?

And wouldn’t it be convenient if your bank reminded you when loan repayments were due?

All this, and more, are available with the BNB’s mobile banking service which was launched yesterday. I’m excited about this new service, so I went there yesterday afternoon to congratulate BNB staff and register for their service.

The concept seems to be quite simple: you send instructions by SMS to the bank, and they respond with the required information by return SMS. Regular rates for outgoing SMS’s apply, but incoming SMS’s from the bank are free. Plus the bank sends SMS’s to alert you when money is withdrawn from your account, deposited to your account, or when loan repayments become due.

The beauty of this service is that it is free and easy. BNB has tied up with both Tashi Cell and B-Mobile to provide this convenient service free of cost. And while I will certainly find this service very useful, it could be even more beneficial to our farmers. Almost half our population, and most farmers, now carry cell phones. So mobile banking should now be possible throughout the country. And our farmers should finally find it worthwhile to open bank accounts.

But I’m already excited about the next level of mobile banking: fund transfer. Now wouldn’t you like that? Wouldn’t you be delighted if you could transfer money to your daughter’s account just by sending an SMS? Or if you could shop, buy petrol for instance, simply by using your cell phone?

I congratulate BNB for improving their financial services. And, more importantly, I thank them for making banking that much more possible for our farmers. Go ahead. Make your services even more accessible. And empower us, your customers.


Facebook Comments:


  1. Anonymous says

    Congratulations to BNB for coming up with a service that is still not so much in use ( or not in use at all ) even in the most developed country like America. Molibe banking should be fun.

    I personally prefer more personal service with face to face interaction and i bet most farmers would do too. esp..if they can’t read or write instructions.
    i am excited about this service but as far as farmers are concerned i don’t know how much it will of benefit.

    I would rather BNB hire more people to get work done mush faster when people are at the bank than think of somethinf digital.
    Personally i wouldn’t trust any affairs regarding money on on the phone.

  2. Bhutanese Blogger says

    Great stuff from BNBL — if this works well, it should take banking right to the people..

  3. Next steps: voice activated services & transaction security.

    The former would reach bulk of our people who missed out on education as well as those who are blind or have weak eyesight.

    The latter? Obviously, weak security would make the wonderful mobile banking worthless.

    Meanwhile, don't lose your cellphones! And, make sure you erase old banking text messages from your cellphone memory!!

    But, the IMMEDIATE need of our farmers isn't mobile banking. It's mobile insurance, that makes proximity to branch services totally unnecessary.

  4. Any sign of ebanking/online banking in the pipeline?
    It would be great to be able to check and manage my account activities on their website from here. It’s expensive to call Bhutan every time.

  5. Congratulations to BNB!

    What’s going on with BoB? They are still struggling with core banking when BNB has already started SMS banking.

    I am just pissed off that my agency (MoEA) is not willing to deposit my salary into BNB. I had to pay Nu. 200 (unnecessarily) to withdraw some money in P/ling.

    Shame on BoB.

  6. BOB has launched many many aspects of Banking. It starts something and then retreives. They started the ladys plus loan and then closed. They started the sunday banking but the notice on their Thimphu door says – temporarily suspended till further notice. I was there visiting the office of the Thimphu manager and the upstairs office – it was awfully filthy and dusty and people not that friendly. The employees have no hesitation to mention that they are a government bank and that they have many restrictions to be service friendly. By the way- the girls at the information counter where you avail the bank statements are also not friendly. They think we are there to seek a favor but I think they owe us a favor by banking with them and keeping their job afloat. Their computer was shut at 3 PM sharp and have abandoned their desk immediately.

    Some food for thought for BOB.

  7. BNBs SMS banking did not work. In fact i m worried that someone now knows my pin number. I lost 2 bucks to bhutan telecom trying this service twice. Can i go to court for the disappointment they caused especially after that page long advertisement with Ms. Thimphu as their ambassador. Shame on BNB.

  8. reading comments makes me realise the truth of an oft repeated idea- nothing that is owned and run by the government works well. i don’t know how far that is true in Bhutan, a good survey is needed, but comments here prompt me to say that.
    The reasons for government not dong great make sense too- ‘budgetary constraints’, the pressure to provide the best prices so that it provides public service rather than good and efficient service, the lack of motiviation for workers who will get their monthly salary regardless of their quality of work, too many people on top. The only answer is more and more privatisation.

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