On March 17, 2021, the NRB granted Nepal Digital Payment Company Limited permission (license) to operate the ‘Namaste Pay’ service. As a digital wallet, Namaste Pay can use Nepal Telecom’s mobile number. Consumers will be able to deposit money into their mobile number in the same way they would in a bank.
Unlike other payment service providers, NTC can provide a payment service that does not require the use of the internet and can be accessed by dialing a fixed number via USSD (mobile).
Mobile applications, QR codes, and other resources will be available. Consumers who do not own smartphones will be able to conduct digital transactions thanks to the introduction of Namaste Pay. Consumers with feature phones, in other words, may use this service as well.
Namaste Pay has a Rs. 400 million paid-up capital. Nepal Telecom has invested Rs 250 million, or 63 percent of the sum, and Rastriya Banijya Bank has invested Rs 150 million, or 37 percent.
Nepal Telecom and Rastriya Banijya Bank submitted an application to the NRB in October 2020 after completing the required steps to launch the digital payment business.
The approval for the digital payment company came around four months after the application was submitted. Telecom cannot operate a digital payment company, according to the NRB directive. However, a new company has been formed as a subsidiary in compliance with the operating permission clause.
Nepal Telecom has partnered with the state-owned Rastriya Banijya Bank to gain financial sector experience. A year ago, Nepal Telecom and Rastriya Banijya Bank agreed to create a digital payment firm.