BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – We’ve all been there, the hassle of having to check all the money changers in town just to scrape together enough foreign currency for your next trip.

During peak periods such as school holidays, certain currencies can run out fast, and who has time to go all over Bandar and Gadong to check which money changer has stock?

With the launch of BruXchange — Brunei’s first currency booking platform — that problem no longer exists. You can secure your currency of choice well in advance, and collect it at a time convenient for you.

Customers can complete a currency order in three easy steps, said BruXchange director Hj Sophian Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mat Suny.

  1. Register for an account on the website
  2. Select a currency and amount to exchange
  3. Pay online with BruPay and collect your order within seven days

“We saw a problem and developed a digital solution,” said Hj Sophian, who is also CEO of BruPay, the country’s first e-wallet. “Our real selling point is convenience and peace of mind – you can do everything from your device and pick it up when it suits you.”

BruXchange director and BruPay CEO, Hj Sophian Dato Dr Hj Mat Suny. Photo: Faiq Airudin/The Scoop

The BruXchange platform had been in development for some time before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, halting most international travel in and out of the sultanate.

“We are aware of the impact COVID-19 has had on the travel industry, and even though there may be less demand for foreign currency at the moment, the technology is still here and available to use,” Hj Sophian said.

The BruXchage website features the daily buy and sell rates of 18 currencies, as well as a currency converter so users can calculate the amount they intend to exchange with no obligation to place an order.

BruXchange in action, Brunei’s new online money changer. Photo: Faiq Airudin/The Scoop

The most popular currencies are typically the Malaysian Ringgit and US dollar, but BruXchange also offers Pound sterling, Euro, Australian dollar and other regional currencies such as Chinese Yuan, Thai Baht and Indonesian Rupiah.

Once a customer has confirmed the amount they want to exchange, the site will lead the to the BruPay payment portal.

Hj Sophian said they are looking into other e-wallets as online payment options, but for time being online payment can only be made through BruPay. For customers who don’t have a BruPay account, they can still visit the BruXchange office in Setia Kenangan 2, Kiulap to exchange currency in person.

Photo: Faiq Airudin/The Scoop

For people who have successfully booked their currency online, you can collect it from the BruXchange office within seven days, or you can nominate someone to collect it on your behalf. If the amount is not collected within a one week period, it will be credited back to your account.

Collection can be made between 9.30am and 5.30pm, although the money changer is looking to extend hours once the country returns to the pre-COVID environment.

The BruXchange director assured that appropriate security measures are taken to ensure customer safety and to prevent fraud or money laundering.

Identification checks are done when the currency is collected, and each online transaction is limited to BND$500. However, the daily limit is capped at $1,500, in line with AMBD regulations for e-wallets.

“We’re always looking to create and deliver innovative products which increase the quality and accessibility of existing services,” tHj Sophian said.

“Since our launch in 2018, BruPay — which was Brunei’s first digital wallet — has over 5,000 users and more than 50 merchants across the country. We hope BruXchange will provide similar digital convenience to all Bruneians.”