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Nepal Telecom (NTC) is known to partner with Rashtriya Banijye Bank (RBB) to operate mobile money service. As Nepal Telecom does not have such any license for financial transaction, they were thinking of either partner with one of the licensed providers or open a new subsidiary company for this service. For which, now they have decided to form a subsidiary company for the cashless payment. The subsidiary company will associate with Government-owned bank RBB for the mobile money service.
On May 2, 2019 (Baishak 19, 2076) Nepal Telecom and Rashtriya Banijye Bank have agreed upon to bring the mobile money service together. On the occasion of National ICT day, the agreement is done in the presence of PM KP Oli.
From 2 years, Nepal Telecom had been studying on the feasibility of the mobile money service along with the decision on the modality, either partner with companies like eSewa or form a new company. If the modality goes well, then this will make Nepal Telecom own a digital bank operator. With the world trend going digital in every way, this sort of financial service will help to bridge the gap for access to the bank and payment services in Nepal.
Nepal Telecom will also ask for “No objection letter” from Nepal Telecommunication Authority, for the service. After which, Ntc will move forward for all the formalities to register the subsidiary company. They will ask the central bank, NRB (Nepal Rastra Bank) for the License of operating financial activities.
Using Nepal Telecom’s experience for digital connectivity technology and RBB’s expertise in financial activity and management, they believe it will form the largest digital/mobile money service, provider.
Although they say they will operate the mobile money service before Dashain, we doubt the availability of their service within that time.
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As Nepal Telecom is the initiator on this, they will have more share in the new company. They will also allow people to buy the share of the company. As per the sources, the investment for the company is around Rs 1 billion. They are yet to finalize the name of the company, though preliminary discussion agrees upon Digital Finance Company.
Right now, the digital payment services use the internet for payment and money transfer. With such a mobile money service, people can easily do the payment/transfer using SMS, USSD, applications from their mobile. So, the customer will have an account linked with their mobile number for the service.
The payment for several utilities and online shopping directly through their mobile is termed as mobile money service. They also have branch-less banking which is ideal for the remote areas of the country. Due to the ease of the payment, this kind of service is popular in various countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh and more. People can also withdraw the physical money that is in their account from agents.
The customer can also use the balance in their mobile to directly buy items or send them to other people. Nepal Telecom has now 15 million mobile users and RBB has 3 million users. If they are able to reach such a customer base, they will surely be the biggest digital payment service provider in Nepal.
Although some of the fin-tech companies have a mobile wallet payment system, Nepal Telecom believes this mobile money will redefine the digital payment in Nepal and increase people’s zeal for going cashless.