February 22, Kathmandu – At an official programme today, IME Digital Solution Limited and UKaid Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme (Sakchyam) have inked an agreement for a partnership which will set the stage for the introduction of the long-awaited mobile financial services in Nepal. Honorable Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank, Dr. Chiranjibi Nepal was the Chief Guest at this partnership signing ceremony where other distinguished guests such as DFID Nepal Team Leader, Economic Development Team, Mr. Gareth Weir, Director of Nepal Telecom Authority Mr. Ananda Raj Khanal, President of Nepal Bankers’ Association Mr. Anil K Shah and Team Leader of Sakchyam, Mr Baljit Vohra were also present.
This partnership aims to introduce a mobile financial services to IME’s existing remittance receiver client base of over 600,000 households as well as prospects beyond remittance network across Nepal. Through this initiative, IME will be partnering with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), agents within and beyond its remittance network, commercial banks, BLB agents and merchants to reach out to the financially excluded sub-urban/rural, under-banked and unbanked populations.
Honorable Governor, Dr. Chiranjibi Nepal remarked, “I believe the introduction of this innovative and one-of-a-kind payment service is a leap towards transitioning from traditional remittance payment system to mobile financial services based payments. I am hopeful that this will increase access to financial services to the underserved population of the country. These services are expected to contribute an estimated amount of Rs. 50 billion in the government’s revenue and also help foster financial transparency and ease monitoring of financial system. NRB is committed to provide all necessary regulatory support and we would also like to request NTA and the telecom operators to facilitate mobile financial services in Nepal. ”
Highlighting the success of IME in the remittance sector, Mr. Chandra Prasad Dhakal, Executive Chairman of IME Group, said, “IME has been playing a lead role in channelizing remittances in Nepal and with the partnership with Sakchyam for its new digital financial services initiative, IME aims at providing financial access the un/underbanked population of Nepal thereby contributing to financial inclusion.”
Speaking on the impact of DFS on rural financial sector, Mr. Hem Raj Dhakal, Managing Director of IME, said, “At a time when banking services are yet to reach the rural population of Nepal, mobile technology has been able to reach across Nepal with the ever increasing mobile penetration rate. With the introduction of new mobile enabled financial services, IME will strive to make mobile financial services a success story as it is in developing countries around the world.”
Highlighting the partnership between Sakchyam and IME Digital Solutions, Mr. Baljit Vohra, Team Leader, Sakchyam stated, “We are hard at work with the policy makers; regulators; MNOs and market players towards introducing a holistic nation wide Mobile Financial Services (MFS) bundled with products like money transfer, bill payments, account opening, deposit, savings and other banking and insurance services, ultimately reaching more than 800,000 underserved clients across the country. Our partnership with IME is the beginning to some more exciting endeavours in this area.”
Mr. Gareth Weir, Head of the Economic Development Team at DFID Nepal, remarked “We have challenged our implementing partner UKaid Sakchyam to demonstrate some quick wins in the MFS space by working with committed partners and testing new models. The partnership launch we have witnessed today is a step in the right direction. Using remittance companies (and their vast agent networks) is a creative way to usher in MFS in Nepal; given the remittance industry’s importance.”
IME Digital Solution Ltd. Is a subsidiary company of IME Group which is all set to launch Mobile Financial Services i.e. a mobile financial services and aims at making financial services accessible to a un/underbanked people of Nepal and contribute to financial inclusion in Nepal.
Sakchyam is a UKaid-funded access to finance programme. It is being implemented by Louis Berger for DFID Nepal, in partnership with local and international institutions.