Namaste Pay gets government nod to operate mobile payment service
NRB has given permission (license) to Nepal Digital Company Limited to operate ‘Namaste Pay’ service on March 17, 2021. Namaste Pay will use Nepal Telecom’s mobile number as a digital wallet. Consumers will get the facility to deposit money in the mobile number just like in a bank.
Unlike other payment service providers, the telco will operate a payment service without internet by dialing a fixed number on USSD i.e. mobile.
It will also have mobile apps, QR codes and other services. With the launch of Namaste Pay, consumers who do not use smartphones will also be able to do digital transactions. Or in other words, consumers who have feature phones can also use this service.
Namaste Wallet has a paid up capital of Rs. 400 million. Nepal Telecom has an investment of Rs 250 million or 63 percent and Rastriya Banijya Bank has an investment of the remaining Rs 150 million or 37 percent.
After completing the necessary process to bring the digital payment company into operation, Nepal Telecom and Rastriya Banijya Bank had submitted the application to NRB in October, 2020.
About 4 months after submitting the application, approval has been received for digital payment business. According to the NRB directive, telecom itself cannot operate a digital payment company. But as a subsidiary, a new company has been established as per the provision set out for operating permission.
As the financial sector experience is also required, the telco has partnered with the state-owned Rastriya Banijya Bank. Nepal Telecom and Rastriya Banijya Bank had reached an agreement to open a digital payment company a year ago.