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A cashless economy is a popular term these days. There has been a lot of discussions and brainstorming on this issue. Digital payment is the latest innovation in the field of Information and Technology. Online/Digital payment OR Digital/Mobile wallet is a global trend and Nepal cannot remain unaffected from it. Although Nepal is still miles behind from creating a cashless society, there has been an effort made by the government and private sector in achieving this foot. Now, there are many digital payment or mobile wallet platforms in Nepal. This post, we will provide the best and the top online/digital payments and mobile wallets platforms available in Nepal.
In Nepal, the concept of digital payment service providers started with the introduction of a credit card by Nabil Bank in 1990. Kumari Bank was the initiator of online banking in Nepal. Although it took some time for such services to be part of people’s lives, the digital payment services are now popular among Nepali users.
The concept of digital/mobile wallet started in 2009 after the launch of eSewa by F1 Soft International. The introduction of eSewa revolutionized the concept of digital payment in Nepal. Since then Nepal has seen different digital payment service providers. Since eSewa, other payment systems like Khalti, IME Pay, QPay, iPay etc. have launched their services.
Digital payment services are mostly used for utility payments (electricity, Water bills), mobile top-ups, airline ticketing, movie ticketing, and transactions. Online digital payment service has eased the life of people as people don’t have to queue up for hours to pay bills. You are just one tap away from recharging your mobile balance and buying a ticket for your favorite movie. You can get different offers for using their services including cash back when you use these apps for any purchase.
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In this blog, I am going to discuss the top five most popular digital wallets of Nepal. The list has been prepared based on the popularity of their use as well as the services they offer. However, mobile wallets may have varied use based on the necessity of the users.
iPay is a service from the muncha.com merchandise dealing with online shopping in Nepal. Muncha.com works as an intermediary between shopper and merchant for online shopping. You can get the app for both Android and iOS. You can simply open the account for the app and load the account. However, for now, you can load account from the web only. This fund can be used for payment to the merchants that are signed by iPay. It has maintained two layers of security for a transaction where you are required to input the transaction password.
Although it was launched a long time back, it has not been able to lure more users to use it. The reason for this is that it has only five partner banks and has a limitation when it comes to mobile top-ups, airline ticketing, utility payment, and other services. The app requires your email id for signup and you need to enter your email id every time you log in. You can download the app from the store from here.
Enet allows its users for safe, easy and quick service for online payment. You can enjoy all kinds of merchant payment using this digital wallet. Some of the most popular services that you can enjoy using this are recharge top up, Internet Bill, airline and bus tickets, bills for electricity and water, remittance, movie ticketing and much more. You can use this wallet for transferring money from bank to wallet, bank to bank, wallet to wallet and wallet to bank. There is a facility to transfer from wallet to remittance as well. Although the services offered are similar to other digital service providers in Nepal, there are rooms for improvement in it. Find the app Enet Payment in iOS.
It will add more banks to its list and more utility payments to give users good service. There are provisions for reward and discounts they can still make the interface more user-friendly. As long as they are increasing the services provided by their app, they will be giving good competition to their opponents. Since there are many digital payment providers operating already in the market, the survival of the fittest theory will come into play very soon.
IME is a popular remittance service provider in the country. They are now offering their users with a better one in all digital wallet. IME Pay is one of those emerging digital payment service providers in Nepal that has been popular in recent years. It offers a wide range of payment gateway for its users. The services available from this app include airline ticketing, bus ticketing, utility payment, remittance, ISB payment, Telephone bill payment etc. The digital wallet is also giving you tickets for Chandragiri Hills Cable car. You can enjoy your digital life that is hassle-free with no queue and no penalty for delay. You can simply do your work sitting at home or even when you are at the go.
The users can use IME Pay (iOS) for remittance service where sender and receiver can use this wallet to send and receive money. There is very little option for loading the wallet using online banking. Once they get more banks onboard with them this app has the potential to grow further.
If you are planning to use this digital wallet as an agent of IME Pay, you can download the IME Pay agent app. This will be helpful for agents as they can utilize all the facilities from their mobile device. The agent app is also available in the Android app store for free download.
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Although Khalti was launched only in 2017, it has come up with some popular lineup of services to make it second popular digital payment service provider in Nepal. Initially, it was available only for Android and web platform. Now you can get this wallet for iOS devices as well. It has been providing with the services for DTH payment, ISP payment along with other popular merchant payments. You can get tickets for movies in almost all popular movie hall chain. It has extended its services to pay the water bill in places outside Kathmandu as well. The reason for its growing popularity has been the added services in almost every field possible. In some cases of airline ticketing, you can get more bonus than its competitors.
Not only that if you are purchasing Kaspersky anti-virus, but there is also a discount in excess of 25%. It is easy to load your Khalti wallet using different bank accounts. The popularity graph for this digital payment provider has gone up massively and it continues to grow in recent time. Apart from the regular services given by digital wallet, Khalti has partnered with OYO hotel chain recently. You can book more than 30 hotels from OYO chain in Kathmandu and Pokhara. There is a facility to pay for different event tickets via scan. You can enjoy the services of Khalti wallet by downloading the app from the app store in the given link (iOS).
The undisputed winner of the digital wallet service providers in Nepal contest goes to eSewa. This is not because they were a pioneer to start the service in Nepal, but the popularity of their app along with the number of users says it all. They are the most trusted and most used digital wallet service in Nepal. They have huge coverage and their services are used by a large number of merchants.
Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank of Nepal had provided it with mobile money license for the first time. To be honest, there are no competitors for them except for some promising sign shown by Khalti. Their range of service has grown so big that they can simply not worry about anyone to catch them up so easily. There is a facility for airline ticketing not only for domestic but for international as well.
You can pay your exam fee, tuition fee, water bill, electricity bill and many other utility payments using eSewa. They have teamed up with the popular online shopping merchants to make life easy for their customers. eSewa is the online bank of Nepal. It has easy to use interface in the app, making a life of the users hassle-free. You can load the wallet easily using banks, eSewa dealers and from eSewa directly. eSewa has started its own online store called eSewa Pasal.
You can find different items in this store with a price that are lower than normal. Popularity does not seem to be getting lower. However, with the addition of new services they are getting more users each day. You can use the remittance service of Western Union from eSewa. They have partnered with this popular remittance service. The quality of service and satisfied customers are the main reason to make the eSewa top the list.
Apart from the digital wallets mentioned in the list, there are many other digital wallet service providers in Nepal. Prabhu Pay is similar to IME Pay in services and has been a popular mobile wallet as well. QPay has been popular in recent days with more users downloading as well as using its services. Bunch of new digital payment platforms are also being launched and including that from big business houses as well.
These days the mobile wallets are increasing in numbers day by day providing the same kind of services. So, we can say the mobile wallets are mushrooming in Nepal with not so differentiations. Due to which, none of them can sustain well in the highly competitive market. So, either merging or doing different will definitely give them a competitive advantage over others. There is also a role of government to regulate and encourage such payments. The government can also work for a single payment platform, run by the Nepal Rastra Bank to enable payments from wallet directly without the need to load funds.
NRB had already set a limit on digital payments in Nepal. As per the people, the current amount of payment limit is quite discouraging to the digital payments in Nepal.
You can also use mobile apps from different banks that are providing some services similar to these digital wallets.
In the present context, it has been very convenient to have digital/mobile wallets doing almost all the work that paper money does. It all started with eSewa, however, today Nepal’s market has some tough competitors who can challenge to thrive and give better services. We can say that in the coming decade Nepal will be much closer towards the paperless economy.