BDBL, Bhutan


Ugyen Dhendup

Officiating Managing Director, Bhutan Development Bank Limited (BDBL)

Southtech replaces Microbanker with Ascend Banking in BDBL


Fully live in
6 months

Convert offline branches to online ones in
a few hours


Bhutan Development Bank Limited (BDBL) is one of the prominent domestic development banks functioning in Bhutan. The objective of the bank is to promote the Agricultural, Industrial and Commercial development of the economy of Bhutan.

The Challenge

Previous to Southtech’s solution, BDBL relied on Microbanker System, a DOS based legacy system. The system was deployed in offline standalone mode which made the consolidation very tedious and difficult. The system was also prone to data corruption and data security was almost non-existent as anyone could easily delete the data files.

The Solution

After struggling with a legacy based system, BDBL engaged Southtech in 2007. Southtech proposed their Ascend Banking Solution (ABS), keeping in mind the remote regions the Bank’s customers were based. According to the Officiating Managing Director of BDBL, Mr. Ugyen Dhendup, “the transition from Microbanker System to Ascend Banking Solution (ABS) took around 6 months including customization, UAT and data migration.”

With Southtech’s award winning solution, Ascend Banking, BDBL was able to provide more services to its customers. The integration of ATM, Internet Banking and SMS banking also made banking very convenient to customers. Since 2007, BDBL’s customer base has grown from 30,000 to 90,000.

According to Mr. Dhendup, “the introduction of ABS brought in many changes in the way business was done. The system supports both offline and online deployment with its distributed database architecture. The Bank centralized all the branches that had net connectivity. As and when network connectivity infrastructure was setup by the TELCOs in the other offline branches, those offline branches could be converted to online branch within few hours. The concept of online branch meant inter-branch transaction could be done. Customers could make loan repayment, cash withdrawal and deposits from any connected branch.”

By utilizing Southtech’s solution, BDBL is now able to reconcile inter-branch transactions in real-time, “which used to be nightmarish previously”.

With both online and offline capabilities, BDBL is no longer restricted from opening branches in remote locations. “The online centralized architecture with distributed database of ABS allows real-time inter-branch transactions. This has also significantly reduced IT support services as most branches could be supported from Head Office. Previously, it was necessary for the support staff to visit the branch or the branch staff would have to come to Head Office with the system whenever there was system problem”, says Mr. Dhendup.

Now it is possible to monitor the performance of each branch, by regional office. Regional Managers can log in to the system and verify the performance of their teams. Additionally, collateral information is captured comprehensively thereby reducing the risk to the bank.

“We were thoroughly satisfied with the implementation process of the software. The Southtech team was attentive, devoted and extremely time-sensitive in carrying out the implementation process”, concludes Officiating Managing Director, Mr. Dhendup.