January 17: The number of digital payments has increased gradually since mid-December. According to a report released by the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), digital payments which had declined in October/November have increased again from mid-December.
The report revealed that transactions done through online payment platforms such as wallet, mobile banking, internet banking, connect IPS have increased since mid-December. Digital payments gained momentum after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic but it had witnessed a decline in the month of Kartik (mid-October to mid-November) which is again on its track from mid-December.
In the period between mid-Oct to mid-Nov, transactions worth Rs 203 billion were done through ConnectIPS, which increased to Rs 228 billion in mid-Nov to mid-December. Likewise, mobile banking transactions worth Rs 781 billion were completed in the period between mid Sep-mid Oct which reached Rs 885 billion in mid-Nov to mid-Dec. All other transactions done through internet banking, mobile, wallet, QR base payment have also increased.
Guruprasad Poudel, head of the Department of Payment System of NRB, said, “Digital payments have increased since December. It is expected to grow gradually." He said that payments have declined during the month of November since it is the closing period of the first quarter of the fiscal year. "Digital payments have increased significantly in the last one year. The overall monthly number of digital transactions has fluctuated this year but there has been a huge growth in digital payments during this period," he said.
According to Poudel, cash and digital payments go hand in hand. All the places don't have facilities for digital payments. People are using both cash and digital wallets. When all places have required infrastructure, use of cash goes minimal. The central bank has also prioritized digital payment and building necessary infrastructures.