Getting Acquainted with nBank

  10 min 26 sec to read
Getting Acquainted with nBank

Nabil Bank has recently launched nBank. Here is a brief introduction to it.


The banking sector in Nepal is highly regarded for its range of financial services and efficient customer care. It holds a special place in Nepali society and has gained the trust and respect of the people. In fact, Nepali banks are among the most trusted entities in the country, and their customer base has been steadily increasing year after year. Thanks to this unwavering support, the banking sector in Nepal is undergoing rapid transformation to meet global standards.

Although financial institutions in Nepal offer similar services and processes, commercial banks have taken the lead in technological innovation, enhancing their position in the banking sector while prioritising customer comfort and convenience. The banking landscape in Nepal has undergone significant changes since the establishment of the country's first bank, including the introduction of ATMs, debit and credit cards, online banking, and digital payment systems, and even chatbots. While all banks have contributed to these advancements, Nabil Bank has taken innovation to the next level with the launch of its latest service, nBank.

Nabil Bank is a renowned name in Nepal's banking sector. It was established in 1984 AD as the country's first bank with foreign investment and has since been at the forefront of innovation and technological advancement in the industry. Nabil Bank has remained committed to its principles and objectives and played a leading role in modernising Nepal's banking sector. In 1990 AD, it became the first bank in Nepal to introduce credit cards. Recently, Nabil Bank has launched a highly efficient banking system that is expected to make a significant impact in Nepal's banking sector, further cementing its position as a leading player in the industry.

The concept of nBank is straightforward and user-friendly, designed to match the fast pace of modern society. It is an online bank that allows customers to access a range of services without the need to visit a physical branch. nBanks offer a variety of digital options through smartphones, including payments, money transfers, investments, loans, online fixed deposits, and more. Despite the use of sophisticated technology and security, using nBank is surprisingly easy and accessible to all.

Nabil Bank's nBank currently offers a range of services, including online account opening, mobile cash, demat account, online fixed deposit, debit card services, credit card services, individual and SME loan applications, and merchant services. The bank plans to expand and upgrade these services to make them unique to each user gradually. Nabil is aware of the challenges it may face with this advancement but is determined to lead Nepal's banking sector into a new era.

We are Planning to Integrate nBank with e-Commerce Platforms

Parmeswor Shrestha, the Chief Digital Banking Officer of Nabil Bank, recently spoke with Priyanka Mandal of New Business Age to address common questions regarding nBank. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

Despite the anticipated and unprecedented risks in Nepal's context, why did Nabil Bank decide to proceed with the concept of nBank?
Before discussing nBank itself, it is important to note that digital payments are one of the most sensitive and risky procedures in the banking sector. All banks in Nepal already provide digital payment options, including QR codes, Connect IPS for fund transfers, and RTGS for larger amounts. Therefore, it is safe to say that Nepal's banking sector is already digitised. However, some services still require physical visits and paperwork, which is where nBank comes in. nBank consolidates these scattered services into a focused platform, allowing customers to access a range of services without the need to visit a physical branch or complete paperwork. These services are already being provided with the latest technologies, and advanced technologies are continually being introduced and upgraded, leaving no room to suggest that Nepal lacks ample technological advancement.

With the nBank platform being completely online, there are numerous online threats such as identity theft, data theft, online fraud, and money laundering. How has Nabil Bank planned to address these issues?
It is important to note that digital payments have been around for quite some time, and all banks in Nepal provide this feature via interoperability, forming an ecosystem that includes online transactions, Fonepay, QR codes, and more. Each component of the system follows a standard of security that continually upgrades based on international practices. Despite concerns that security measures may seem inadequate, they are designed to detect, block, and inform about threats that endanger the services. Given the criticality of security for nBank, we have outsourced the infrastructure to international partners due to the lack of expert resources in Nepal. These partners monitor data activities and inform us immediately about vulnerabilities and threats, allowing us to take action and ensure a secure user experience.

Account Takeover (ATO) fraud and identity theft are common threats in Nepal. How does Nabil Bank tackle these issues?
These kinds of threats are not something that can be prevented by the bank alone.Nabil Bank recognizes the importance of user awareness in preventing ATO fraud and identity theft. Identity theft is not something that can be done by a total stranger through hacking or other methods. These types of threats often involve social engineering by people who know the user closely and can access their usernames, email addresses, and passwords. Although Nabil Bank uses OTPs to make its platform more secure, these measures are not always sufficient. Close family members like children and siblings are involved in this kind of action where they can have easy access to the device of the users. These frauds cannot be prevented by banks in any way. So the only option is user awareness. Therefore, the bank conducts awareness programs through social media, campaigns, videos, and staff training to educate its users and reduce the risks of such threats.

In addition, Nabil Bank offers a 24/7 support centre for users who have experienced fraud or theft.

The process generally includes blocking the account first. Then we escalate the issue and investigate the matter further, including seeking legal assistance if necessary.

Some users might still have apprehensions about online banking. How do you plan to gain their confidence, similar to the traditional banking system?
Gaining the trust of users is a gradual process, and COVID-19 has actually been a catalyst for the adoption of online banking. As people faced the need to access banking services remotely, they naturally turned to online banking as a solution. Once users start using online banking, they become more aware of the advantages and conveniences that come with it. Our role as a bank is to make the experience easy, convenient, attractive, and user-friendly. We are continuously working towards this goal. Ultimately, building trust is a gradual process that happens over time as users become more familiar and comfortable with the technology.

Users have reported issues with the UI, stability, login, card, and app speed after the recent update. How is Nabil Bank addressing these concerns?
At Nabil Bank, our initial approach with the previous version of the app was to provide basic features on the front page to familiarise users with the services. However, we recognized that categorising features may have resulted in some users not being aware of available services. Therefore, based on user feedback, we have updated the UI to display newly added features, ensuring users are aware of and can explore them.

We have a dedicated team at Nabil Bank with expertise in sales, marketing, and operations who continuously work to improve the app's convenience for users through feedback. We understand that newly launched apps may have initial bugs, which is not unique to our app but common for many big organisations like Apple and Google. Our team is always on standby to address any bugs that are detected, and we release updates to fix them promptly.

We are committed to the process of continuous learning and improvement to enhance user experience and provide a better banking experience for our customers.

At what stage is Nabil bank’s nBank currently at?
nBank is currently at its first stage, also known as Version 1. We have already planned out the features for Version 2, which will have fewer bugs and more convenient features. While other banks have their own apps, nBank is focused on strategically collecting and managing features in a unique way to provide a better online banking experience for users. Our aim is to change the user's mindset regarding online banking while also providing an enjoyable experience. However, this is just the first version, and there are many things to learn and improve.

Is there any major setback or difficulty that you have been trying to deal with?
One major challenge we face in the online banking system is the verification of user phone numbers. Currently, we cannot verify whether a phone number used by a user is registered to their name or not. If we could get an interface to verify who the phone number belongs to through entities like the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), we could add an extra layer of security to the banking system. Additionally, the introduction of the National Identity system could provide another means of verifying user identity, allowing for a completely digitised user verification process without requiring visits to the bank. With these added security measures, nBank could expand its services to include big loans and other features.

What is Nabil Bank planning next for the users who are enjoying nBank and looking forward to more features?
We have formulated a short-term plan for the next 2-3 years, which includes improving and enhancing the current nBank app in the first phase and launching an even more improved version in the second phase. In the third phase, we plan to introduce more personalised features by leveraging data analytics to monitor user behaviour and offer tailor-made products based on their preferences. For instance, users who frequently use QR codes for transactions may receive discounts on such transactions. In the fourth phase, we aim to create a unique app for each user, which will be personalised and offer a range of interesting features.

We have initiated work towards integrating with e-commerce platforms and exploring the concept of a SuperApp, where users can shop, order food, and avail of various other services using the nBank app itself. While our focus is currently on improving nBank, we are also working on other advancements and features, and plan to roll them out in due course of time.

Any suggestions or awareness you would like to spread among the users of nBank to be safe from anticipated risks?
We cannot emphasise enough on the importance of security, but it is always crucial to spread awareness among the users to keep themselves safe from potential risks. All banks follow international standards for security and continuously work to improve their systems. However, it is equally important for users to take necessary precautions to protect their personal information.

With mobile phones becoming our primary identity, it is essential to handle them with care. Do not share your credentials, phone or personal information, including with family members, unless absolutely necessary. If you do have to share such information, make sure to document the context and details for future reference.

Do not respond to suspicious calls, messages or links, and do not lend your phone to others without knowing their intentions. Keep sensitive documents like citizenship, fingerprints, signatures, etc., in a secure and inaccessible manner. If you dispose of physical documents containing your identity, destroy them before disposal.

We urge users to be vigilant and aware of potential risks. By spreading awareness and taking necessary precautions, we can prevent most security breaches and keep our online banking experience safe.

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