August 7: There has been an increase in the number of customers opening online account during the lockdown period. Although the customers can deposit the money online, they have to go to the bank to withdraw it. This poses a challenge to promote digital transaction.
Due to Covid-19 infection and subsequent lockdown, majority of banks have insisted on opening online accounts. Banks have also been promoting online account.
Nabil Bank first started opening accounts online eight years ago. Bhuvan Kumar Dahal, president of Nepal Bankers’ Association says although the online account was initiated a long time ago, it has become more effective during the lockdown.
Bankers say that 945,350 new depositors have been added to the list of commercial banks’ customers after February and most of them have opened online accounts.
Banks including Nabil, NIC Asia, Citizens, and NMB have provided the facility to open an account via Facebook and Viber to make it effective. CEO of NMB bank Sunil KC informed that around 10,000 accounts have been opened during lockdown from such facilities.
“We have received very good response to this new approach. At present, the emphasis should be given to online accounts and digital transactions,” he told New Business Age, adding, “Such transaction would maintain physical distance, is safe, reliable, saves time and is less expensive.”
NIC Asia Bank said that the initiative of opening free online account from home has become more effective. The bank says that they will continue the facility as opening online account has been increasing.
Bankers say that Nepalis residing abroad had benefitted more from such facilities in the past. They say that those who are not accustomed to online go to the bank. Therefore, there’s still a challenge to get used to digital transaction, says Anil Sharma, executive director of Nepal Bankers Association. “Now the already opened accounts need to be continuously activated in digital transactions,” he said.