Nepal Telecom has started the preliminary test of its digital payment service; Namaste Pay on Baishakh 19, 2078. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, on the occasion of 4th National ICT Day, announced the initiation of testing of the app via a virtual program.
Namaste Pay is the mobile money service set up by Nepal Telecom and Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB) with an authorized capital of Rs. 1 billion. This government-run digital payment app is on the verge of becoming the mobile wallet with the largest paid-up capital of Rs. 400 million.
Minister for Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), Mr. Parbat Gurung, informed that they intended to officially launch the app on the same day but due to technical reasons, the plan changed.
As per some sources, Namaste Pay is going to launch on May 17, 2021, marking World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (aka ITU day).
Namaste Pay: both an online and offline mobile wallet
Namaste Pay is not only the first government-run payment service provider (PSP), but also, the first offline mobile wallet. It means the user need not have an internet connection to make digital payments.
Up until now, there were only online digital payment platforms for the users to make transactions. It required smartphones and an internet connection. With the use of Namaste Pay, NT users with feature phones can make offline transactions anytime and anyplace.
The payment system will use the mobile number as a digital wallet. The mobile balance can be used as a transaction fund to pay bills like electricity bills, water bills, etc.
However, the mobile money service fund will be stored in a different account than the recharge balance. This feature helps to skip the taxes included in the service charges. Such an option makes mobile money service cheaper and easier.
For this purpose, the company is preparing to use the USSD channel. Then, by typing the USSD code, the users can make offline transactions. This option is much secure than SMS too.
For online users, a wallet will also be available. Rashtriya Banijya Bank will act as a settlement bank for payment services. As per the info, all mobile numbers in Nepal can do the payment from Namastepay using both online and offline means.
Largest paid-up capital of Rs. 400 million
The Nepal Digital Payment Company is so far the largest in terms of paid-up capital. Among the 27 PSPs approved by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) in March, Namaste Pay has the largest paid-up capital.
According to the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) provision, the digital payment companies should make a paid-up capital of at least Rs. 10 million. As per the details released by Nepal Rastra Bank, the paid-up capital of Namaste Pay is Rs. 400 million.
After Namaste Pay, the companies with the highest paid-up capital are IME Pay and Prabhu Pay. Their paid-up capital is Rs 100 million. Similarly, eSewa has a paid-up capital of Rs. 50 million.