Payment gateway is a hurdle for digital freelancers in Bhutan

Email

As the concept of digital freelancing gains traction in Bhutan, those engaged in this field are encountering challenges related to payment gateways.

In an era marked by increasing digitization, the realm of work has undergone a significant transformation, introducing digital freelancing as a new way for freelancers to connect with clients worldwide. Bhutan, too, is witnessing this shift as it adapts to the changing landscape.

With the aim of boosting the private sector, the establishment of DHI BizAP through a Royal Charter has yielded notable progress in nurturing and supporting the growth of freelancers within Bhutan. Since its inception on March 4, 2021, this program has worked to address the issues commonly faced by freelancers globally, while also striving to make an impact on the international stage.

Likewise, the DeSuung Skilling Project offers freelancing courses to DeSuups (volunteers). As digital freelancing gains momentum in the country, these freelancers encounter difficulties and limitations in terms of payment gateways.

In the borderless realm of digital work, a reliable payment gateway is essential for freelancers to receive payments for their services. Graphic designers, programmers, and digital marketers, among others, operate within an interconnected ecosystem where smooth financial transactions are pivotal.

The issue of payment gateway bottlenecks arises from various sources. According to a new freelancer named Namgay, common obstacles relate to payment gateways. "The lack of payment gateways that cater to specific regions or currencies is a prevalent challenge. Freelancers often find themselves navigating through various options, each with its own requirements, fees, and transfer durations."

Bhutanese freelancers predominantly utilize Payoneer as their payment gateway, as the country does not have access to platforms like PayPal or Apple Pay.

Many freelancers are active on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork, and Namgay highlights that, in the Bhutanese context, these platforms may not be highly lucrative unless one earns a substantial amount. "Fiverr and Upwork deduct a certain percentage of our earnings, and when we transfer to Payoneer, they also take a cut. Furthermore, after transferring to our local banks, there are additional deductions. Due to the absence of payment gateway systems like PayPal or Apple Pay, we end up losing a portion of our profits."

While the gig economy may not be massive, it is in its early stages, and a few freelancers do manage to earn significant sums. According to Dorji, freelancers contribute foreign currency and help bolster foreign currency reserves. "Presently, there's a 10 percent incentive for remittances from abroad, aimed at boosting foreign currency reserves. I inquired whether the same incentive could apply to freelancers, but banks stated it wasn't feasible. Freelancers also contribute foreign currency, and if we were to receive a similar incentive for bringing in foreign currency, it would be motivating."

With digitization taking center stage, the gig economy is poised to rise in prominence, and remote work is anticipated to become the norm. Digital freelancers will be at the forefront of this evolving landscape, underscoring the need to address the country's financial system for the sustainable growth of freelancing.

Article first appeared on The Bhutanese.



Related Posts

Bhutan's transition into the age of digitalisation

Bhutan embraced the ICT sector and endeavour to build its economy around it.

Jan 13, 2022 12:07

Brand Bhutan: Karma Yangchen

Karma Yangchen, a distinguished artisan from Bhutan exemplifies a profound commitment to the art of handwoven textiles.

Dec 14, 2023 10:22

Brand Bhutan: Bhutan Herbal Tea

Bhutan Herbal Tea is the brainchild of two Bhutanese individuals who first crossed paths in New York during a Bhutanese...

Nov 25, 2023 13:56

Brand Bhutan: Deki Natural Dyes

Deki Natural Dyes is a family business that was formally established in 2011, and it holds a rich legacy spanning three...

Nov 15, 2023 12:06

Brand Bhutan: Where Quality Meets Tradition in Every Product

The Ministry of Economic Affairs in Bhutan, which used to be called the Ministry of Trade & Industry, was established in...

Nov 06, 2023 11:44

Sturgeon and Trout: Bhutan's Emerging Aquaculture Industry

Fish farming in Bhutan has been on the rise, but the country still relies heavily on fish imports to meet the growing...

Oct 17, 2023 13:53

Latest

News

Bhutan Receives Annual Special Travel Destinations Award

This is Bhutan's second tourism award in China, reaffirming its status as an extraordinary travel destination.

Feb 02, 2024 11:12

Bhutan Waives SDF for MICE Events

Bhutan seeks to establish itself as a prime destination for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) events in the region.

Jan 24, 2024 14:34

Features

Rifles and Rituals: Satire and Societal Shifts in Bhutan as Portrayed in 'The Monk and The Gun

Pawo Choyning Dorji, whose film "The Monk and the Gun" offers insight into the Himalayan nation's modernization process.

Feb 20, 2024 11:04

All You Need to Know About Gelephu Mindfulness City

The kingdom of Bhutan is planning to develop a "mindfulness city" covering about 2.5% of its land, which is larger than the size of...

Feb 08, 2024 10:42

Business

Brand Bhutan: Karma Yangchen

Karma Yangchen, a distinguished artisan from Bhutan exemplifies a profound commitment to the art of handwoven textiles.

Dec 14, 2023 10:22

Brand Bhutan: Bhutan Herbal Tea

Bhutan Herbal Tea is the brainchild of two Bhutanese individuals who first crossed paths in New York during a Bhutanese New Year gathering...

Nov 25, 2023 13:56

Sports

Bhutan Cricket's New Milestone: The Inaugural Indoor Cricket Academy

The Bhutan Cricket Council Board (BCCB) inaugurated its inaugural indoor cricket academy on 20th December, with the objective of ensuring...

Dec 21, 2023 14:57

Paro FC Clinches Third Consecutive Victory in BOB Bhutan Premier League

Paro FC has once again claimed the BOB Bhutan Premier League championship, marking their third consecutive title victory during the season's...

Dec 12, 2023 10:26

Travel

Alii Palau Airlines Inaugural Flight From Singapore to Palau via Drukair

On November 23, 2023, Alii Palau Airlines made history with its inaugural flight to Palau.

Dec 04, 2023 10:32

Singapore to Palau: Alii Palau Airlines Launches Historic Route With Drukair

You can now visit the Palau Paradise directly from Singapore!

Oct 27, 2023 16:17

Lifestyle

Chunipa Losar: Bhutan's Timeless Celebration of Traditions and Offerings

Chunipa Losar is a day of offerings, a moment when communities come together to express gratitude, seek blessings, and strengthen bonds.

Jan 12, 2024 12:31

Bhutan's Time-Honored Tradition: Exploring the Nyilo Season and the Lolay Ritual

Approximately 750 children recently took part in the traditional practice known as "lolay" in Bhutan, marking the beginning of the Nyilo...

Jan 04, 2024 14:18

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!