1.5m use mobile banking servicesThe number of mobile banking service users has reached 1.5 million as of mid-May, which is nearly 10 percent of the total deposit accounts in Banks and Financial Institutions (BFIs).
The number of mobile banking service users has reached 1.5 million as of mid-May, which is nearly 10 percent of the total deposit accounts in Banks and Financial Institutions (BFIs).
There are 16.12 million savings account in BFIs, according to Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB). Among the BFIs, the number commercial bank customers using mobile banking services stands at 1.43 million.
Bankers attribute the surge in the number of mobile banking users to fast growing penetration of mobile telecommunication.
According to Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), the number of mobile telecommunication subscriptions stands at 27.85 million as of mid-February, which is 105.15 percent of the population.
“Mainly new customers are seeking electronic banking facilities, including mobile banking,” said Rajan Amatya, deputy general manager of Nepal Investment Bank Limited (NIBL). He said of the 700,000 accounts at NIBL, about 30,000 accountholders use mobile banking.
Under the mobile banking services, banks offer facilities like balance inquiry, SMS alert, account transfer and utility payments. “Most of mobile banking users, however, only use services like balance inquiry and SMS alert,” said Amatya.
Standard Chartered Bank Nepal, which has yet to launch mobile banking despite being an international bank, is also considering starting such a service.
Diwakar Poudel, head of brand and marketing and corporate affairs at Standard Chartered, said the delay was because they could not just start mobile banking based on local platforms. “We are an international bank and we have maintain certain global standards. We have plans to start mobile banking by the end of 2016,” he said.
As far as internet banking is concerned, the number of users stand at 476,213, according to NRB. NIBL said they have 50,000 customers using internet banking, while Standard Chartered has 35,000 customers using this service.
Access to Finance
Commercial Banks Development Banks Finance Companies Total
No of Deposit Accounts 12375072 3205568 546366 16127006
No of Mobile Banking Customers 1435532 137901 15833 1589266
No of Internet Banking Customers 453076 20578 2559 476213
No of Branchless Banking Customers 214604 —- — 214604
(Source: Nepal Rastra Bank)