Brunei Darussalam is establishing a digital payment gateway to ease digital payments in the Sultanate and facilitate international transactions, according to Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah at the 18th Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting yesterday.
He said this in response to queries about a digital payment hub to allow seamless and instant transactions especially for payments coming into Brunei by LegCo members Yang Berhormat Haji Mohimin bin Haji Johari @ Jahari and Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari.
The minister said the project is jointly implemented by Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd and local banks to facilitate digital payment transactions. “The vision is to provide instant payment infrastructure for the commercial and socio-economic benefit of the country,” the minister said.
The project is managed by Digital Economy Council and funded by Digital Payment Roadmap 2019-2022 under the Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB).
Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew said the project will enable safe, instant and cost-effective account-to-account transfers to accept credit and debit card payments as well as through QR codes.
The minister said 80 per cent of Brunei residents own bank accounts with 125 per cent mobile phone penetration making a big potential in smartphone transactions. He said the digital payment hub will ensure faster transactions and easier cashflow management for businesses because it is instantaneous, secure, auditable and low-cost. It has the possibility of reducing cash dealings that accounts for 90 per cent of government transactions. “With this infrastructure it will save millions of dollars in cost of handling cash,” said Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew.
The minister said the digital payment hub will encourage innovation in financial services and connectivity to international payment platform such as PayPal, subject to local and international regulations.