October 17: The number of mobile banking users has increased sharply in the last three years, according to a study conducted by Nepal Rastra Bank. The study entitled ‘Status of Access to Finance in Nepal’ shows that there are 8,346,187 mobile banking users in Nepal as of mid-July 2019 (end of last fiscal year).
The number of mobile banking users was 1,754,566 three years ago.
Bankers argue that the number of mobile banking users has increased due to a mandatory provision of Nepal Rastra Bank to provide mobile banking service to any new customer opening a bank account.
“There is a legal provision to provide mobile banking service to customers who open a new bank account,” said Bhuvan Dahal, CEO of Sanima Bank.
Bankers say that the number of mobile banking users has also increased with the increase in number of smartphone users.
According to the study, the number of Internet banking service users is 917,344 as of mid-July 2019. The figure is an 82.27 percent more as compared to the number of Internet banking service users three years ago.
CEO Dahal of Sanima Bank says the increase in number of mobile banking users as compared to Internet banking users is due to the various facilities provided to mobile banking users.
Mobile banking users get instant notifications of withdrawal and deposit of money in their accounts. On top of that, customers can also transfer money, top-up mobile balance, pay internet bills among others through mobile banking.
Based on the savings accounts, the central bank’s study shows that 60.9 percent of the population have access to finance in Nepal as of mid-June 2019.
During the review period, it was found that the total number of bank accounts were 27,867,000 in Nepal. After removing duplication, a total of 18,000,000 individuals had accounts in various commercial banks and financial institutions of Nepal. The central bank believes that access to finance will increase further if the data of micro finances are also included.