JCB International Co., Ltd. (JCBI), international operations subsidiary of JCB Co., Ltd., and Bank of Bhutan Ltd. (BOBL), the first and largest scale commercial bank in Bhutan, today announced that BOBL started accepting JCB cards at the bank’s merchants.
Bhutan is popular destination for people in Asia Pacific. According to Tourism Council of Bhutan, over 150,000 travelers visited the country in 2015, which has more than tripled over the past 5 years. Most of the travelers are from regional countries in Asia, where JCBI focuses on for its business. BOBL, established in 1968, is the first bank of the country and currently has about 45 branches throughout Bhutan. With this launch, JCB cards are accepted at more than 480 locations and it covers 90% of POS terminals and ATMs in the market.
JCBI Deputy President KimihisaImada said, “This year is the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bhutan and Japan and it is my pleasure to announce the launch of business cooperation of BOBL and JCB in such a historic year. South Asia is an emerging market and Bhutan is located in the middle of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. Through the bank’s nationwide merchant network, we can meet JCB card member demand while travelling and sightseeing in Bhutan, especially card members from neighbor countries, such as China, Bangladesh, and Thailand, which have about 13 million card members.”
Pema N Nadik, Chief Executive Officer of BOBL, said, “The introduction of JCB card acceptance has been long awaited given the popularity of Bhutan as a destination for Japanese travelers. With JCB cards now being accepted in Bhutan through the network of Bank of Bhutan’s ATM and POS terminals, visitors holding JCB cards have the option of making payments securely through this payment channel.”