This screenshot image taken from the website of Global IME Bank shows a promotional material to encourage digital transaction. Photo Courtesy: Global IME Bank
March 20: Banks are preparing to start cashless transaction through electronic means in an effort to stop the possible spread of coronavirus from paper money. This move would also significantly reduce the number of customers in BFIs as well as the threat of the deadly virus, that has caused havoc across the globe.
Bankers have taken the initiative to promote digital banking in collaboration with the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the regulatory body of banks in the country, after realizing that there is high chance of spreading the disease through paper money and in crowded areas.
Most of the banks are making effort to discourage the use of paper money by focusing on the use of mobile or online service for transactions.
Nepal Bankers’ Association held an initial discussion on this topic on Thursday (March 19) and has called for a meeting of CEOs of all the member banks on Friday (today).
Executive Director of the association Anil Sharma told New Business Age that the bankers are preparing to make the use of digital transaction more effective after discussions among the stakeholders.
“The counters of banks are mostly crowded but the government has issued an order not to allow a gathering of more than 25 people,” said Sharma.
“We are trying to promote digital transaction in such a situation,” he added.
Nepal Rastra Bank is also ready to help the BFIs promote digital transaction. Executive Director of the Banks and Financial Institution Regulation Department of NRB, Dev Kumar Dhakal, says there is high risk of transmission of coronavirus from cash transaction so the central bank has pressed for digital transaction.
“We do not have adequate infrastructure for digital payment, but we discussed about promoting digital transaction wherever possible,” said Dhakal.
Giving reference to China destroying 600 billion yuan in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus, Dhakal said it is time to shift to digital transaction.