BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Darussalam Assets will be forming a joint venture with three local banks to create a long-awaited digital payment hub, the second minister of finance and economy said on Wednesday.

The network infrastructure will allow users to send and receive instant digital payments within Brunei and merchants outside the country.

Speaking at the Legislative Council, YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah said the payment gateway will have the ability to connect to international payment rails such as PayPal, provided the company agrees to enter the Brunei market.  

Currently, users with Bruneian bank accounts can only send payments via PayPal but cannot receive payments from other users.

While are a number of digital payment wallets available domestically — such as Pocket, BIBD QuickPay, Progresif Pay and DST Pay — all need to be linked to a debit/credit card or directly to a bank account.

Through the centralised payment hub, customers and businesses will be able to make digital payments through the network even if they don’t have a bank account.

This project will facilitate low-cost, instant, secure and auditable transactions,” said YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin. 

“It will also reduce the government’s cash transactions up to 90 percent overall.”

The minister said the digital payment hub should spur fintech development in Brunei, where 80 percent of people have bank accounts and mobile penetration stands at 125 percent.

He added that there is huge potential with the growth of cashless transactions via smartphones during the pandemic.