For a small market like Nepal also, we have enough digital wallets. Or maybe more than enough.
Among many Khalti and eSewa are some of the frontrunners in the list. These services are searching for newer ideas that inspire people to use the digital wallet. And slowly, these wallets are being successful in their mission also.
Honestly, this online payment gateway is already a revolution in its own way. But can we expect something new in this? And what could be the next new digital step in this revolution of digital payment?
To address this very question, the new ‘Mobile Money’ is making its way to the Nepali market. And the extra feature they are offering is paying through your mobile balance.
Does it excite you? At least it does to me.
So what is mobile money?
It is exactly what it sounds like, money which is in our mobile phones. This new service will allow us to send or pay even with our mobile balance. Now you don’t have to depend on how much money you have in your bank account only.
Just when you think you couldn’t possibly be more dependent on your mobile phones, this new technology seems to change the narrative yet again.
Mobile money secures funds in an electronic account number linked to a mobile number. Through this electronic account number, you can transfer money or save it. This means you can pay bills and buy products through your mobile number.
The customer receives money by recharging your mobile number. It is the same balance you use to call and text which can now be used to pay.
Digital Payment Company is a company, jointly made by Rastriya Banijya Bank and Nepal Telecom. They applied to the Nepal Rastra Bank seeking permission to operate this Mobile Money technology in Nepal.
Narayan Prasad Pokharel, the co-spokesperson of Nepal Rastra Bank confirmed that their appeal has been approved. The company which had already set up the required infrastructure can now proceed to provide services. They are permitted for the usage of payment service providers like any other digital wallet.
However, the main balance and the balance payable will be kept differently. Because the mobile balance will be taxed like telecommunication service fee, VAT, and Mobile ownership fee. Hence keeping it separate makes it cheaper.
The way to use this function would be to trade the USSD channel we use to check the current balance of our sim cards. This transaction will be like an SMS but way more secure. They intend to use the USSD pathway as an initial stage only. Hoping there might be other new ways to trade upcoming in the future.
This offline trading will be of great help for businesses.
An online method, through a digital wallet, will also be available.
How will mobile money change the dynamics of digital wallets?
Mobile money is now a competition to the ongoing plethora of digital wallets being used. Or possibly a threat.
Mobile Money introduces OFFLINE transactions. Whereas most digital wallets need an internet connection. This makes payments much easier and people are most likely to sign up for this.
Another way this can attract more people is mobile money does not need any bank account. This means youngsters or people who do not want to connect their bank account to their phone can also make commercial transactions on their phones.
This caters to a large section of people who can not or are not willing to link their bank account to their digital wallets.
The Mobile Money service is a major step taken by NTC, we might soon expect something from other telecommunications companies too. Nepal is witnessing a lot of new digital improvements and new services. Makes one wonder what more to come?