Chharo App to Facilitate Cashless Transactions

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Chharo is the first e-wallet to be introduced in the country. It is an e-wallet application available for free download on both the Android and the iOS platform which allows anyone including tourists and visitors with a smart phone to make simple and secure digital payments across devices and channels.

Chharo App to Facilitate Cashless Transactions in Bhutan. (Source: http://www.bbs.bt/)

 

In line with the national goal to encourage a cashless economy and to promote financial inclusion, the Bank of Bhutan (BoB) launched mobile e-wallet “Chharo” on 13 Feb 2018.

Chharo is the first e-wallet to be introduced in the country.  It is an e-wallet application available for free download on both the Android and the iOS platform which allows anyone including tourists and visitors with a smart phone to make simple and secure digital payments across devices and channels.

Merits of using the Chharo App

Unlike the mobile banking application (mBoB) a Chharo user need not have a bank account to be registered and use the app.  The Chharo app will also provide a marketplace model bringing business merchants and buyers onto a single platform and advance e-commerce in the country.

The Chharo app can be downloaded and used immediately after completing a simple registration process based on the registered mobile number of the user.  The main difference between mBoB and Chharo is that mBoB is linked to a bank account while Chharo is not.

The Chharo is interfaced with the Royal Monetary Authority’s Bhutan Immediate Payment Services (BIPS) gateway making it inter-operable between all banks in the country.  This is a unique feature of Chharo not usually found in e-wallet apps in other countries. 

Chharo is available for tourists as well

This feature enables a user to load money into Chharo from any bank in Bhutan while tourists can load the wallet using their debit or credit cards.  A feature to transfer money to any bank account from Chharo is also being developed and will be available soon.

Chief Executive Officer of BoB, Pema Nadik said as the name suggests, Chharo is intended to be a friend to everyone.

“That is the reason that we have intentionally kept it “brand agnostic” so that it is not identified as a service of any particular bank but to the banking sector of Bhutan,” said the CEO.

For online shopping, the app will work only within the country. The merchants have to register with the banks.

So far, 10 merchants have registered and 26 are under process.

Features in the Chharo app

Features in the Chharo app include online shopping, wallet transfers (can transfer to another wallet user), top-up service, bookings of hotels and restaurants, add money  from bank account of any bank in the country or using any debt or credit cards and accept money into wallet by scanning one’s personalised QR or using one’s mobile number.

It can also be used to pay money to other wallet user by scanning their QR code, using the thump print authentication for any transaction through the wallet app.

An independent seller app can also upload and sell their products. It will also give them better control over their businesses with a system in-built inventory management and analytics.

More exciting features coming soon

Other features such as bus ticket booking, movie ticket booking, paying traffic fines, cash deposit over the counter to the wallet account and bill payments (Cable TV and BPC bills) will also be introduced on Chharo soon. Chharo will also provide payment options for G2C services where possible.

 

By Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu

(This article first appeared in Business Bhutan and has been edited for the New Bhutan Times).

 


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