JCB International (JCBI) has signed an agreement with Bank of Bhutan, pursuant to which the bank started accepting JCB cards in the country.

With the latest agreement, JCB cards are accepted at over 480 locations and it covers 90% of POS terminals and ATMs in the market.

JCBI deputy president Kimihisa Imada 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 neighbour countries, such as China, Bangladesh, and Thailand, which have about 13 million card members.”

Bank of Bhutan CEO Pema Nadik said: “The introduction of JCB card acceptance has been long awaited given the popularity of Bhutan as a destination for Japanese travellers.

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“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.”

Currently Bank of Bhutan manages 82 ATMs and over 400 POS terminals across the country.