8.34 million Nepalis have access to mobile banking servicesThere are 6.7 million people with ATM cards, up from 4.13 million six years ago, says Nepal Rastra Bank.
As of mid-October, 8.34 million Nepalis had access to mobile banking services, a fivefold jump compared to three years ago, a report unveiled by Nepal Rastra Bank on Tuesday showed.
Nepal Rastra Bank cited an expanding number of smartphone users and increased coverage of 3G and 4G services for the sharp rise in the number of mobile banking and internet banking users.
Nepal Telecommunications Authority records show that the number of mobile internet users had jumped to 14.65 million as of April 2019. Despite the rapid progress in the banking sector, 14 out of the 753 local units in the country still lack banking access.
According to the report entitled Access to Financial Service in Nepal, 60.9 percent of Nepal's population of 29.6 million now have banking access.
“The expansion of branches, particularly in rural areas, and increasing use of technologies like mobile apps have helped increase the number of users of mobile and internet banking in recent days,” said Gunakar Bhatta, executive director of Nepal Rastra Bank.
According to the report, there are 6.7 million people holding ATM cards, up from 4.13 million people six years ago. Similarly, 123,146 people have credit cards, up from 57,898 card holders in 2014. The number of ATM outlets across the country has doubled to 3,316 in the last six years.
The report shows that there are 27.8 million deposit accounts and 1.44 million credit accounts of individuals. As of mid-October, banks had enrolled 168,307 customers from their branchless banking outlets in 1,530 locations.
According to the report, in Province 3 where the country’s capital Kathmandu is located, one banking branch serves 2,770 people. In Karnali Province, there is one banking branch for every 4,958 person. In Sudur Pashchim Province, one banking branch serves 4,409 people.
The report shows that in Province 5, access to commercial banks has reached all local levels. Six local units in Sudur Pashchim Province are still doing without any banking office. One local unit each in Province 1 and Gandaki Province lack access to banking while Province 2, Province 3 and Karnali Province have three unbanked local units each.
Population with access to banks 61 percent
ATM card holders 6.70 million
Mobile banking users 8.34 million
Credit cards 123,146
Internet banking users 917,344
Users of branchless banking 168,307
Number of ATM counters 3,316
Branchless banking 1,530