May 3: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has tightened the rules for using credit cards. By amending the Unified Directive 2078 for payment system on Monday, the central bank has made an arrangement that bars users from loading money from credit card to their mobile wallet and to the bank account. As per the new provision, credit card users cannot withdraw cash as well.
Although cash transaction not allowed with a credit card, there is a facility for cash transaction up to 10 percent within the approved limit of the card in case of emergency. The NRB made such arrangement due to a rise in practice of loading money from credit cards into mobile wallets and bank accounts.
Commercial banks have issued 219,946 credit cards as of March 2022. Transactions using credit cards between mid-February to mid-March stands at Rs 1.14 billion.
Payments through credit card can be made while purchasing goods and services. NRB has stated that the money loaded in the wallet from the credit card should be used only for electronic payment of goods and services. NRB has instructed the payment service providers to make arrangements that the amount loaded from the credit card cannot be transferred to the bank account to withdraw cash.
Banks have been issuing credit cards to government and private sector employees as well as regular income earners.
Similarly, NRB has also given special attention on the identification of wallet customers. The central bank has directed the customers to self-declare that the details submitted are true and if not, they are ready to accept the action as per the law. Similarly, the central bank has directed to make it mandatory to disclose the purpose while transferring money from one wallet to another and other electronic payment transactions.
As of February 2022, there are 113.57 million wallet users. A total of Rs 16.59 billion has been transacted through wallets in February/March alone. Lately, the use of wallets to pay for utility bills has been increasing.
Similarly, NRB has amended the ‘Moneychanger License and Inspection Regulations-2077’ and directed the money exchange companies to submit their monthly transaction details within 15 days of the end of each month. Earlier, there was a provision to submit the details within a month.