March 10, 2015 – Mega Bank Nepal Limited in partnership with Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme rolled out Mega Aarthik Sakchyam Project with introduction of TAB BANKING today at an event at Durbar Margha’s Hotel Annapurna. Present at the event were Mr. Upendra Poudyal, President, Nepal Bankers’ Association, Mr. Bahadur KC, Private Sector Development Advisor, DFID Nepal, Mr. Baljit Vohra, Team Leader, Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme, Mr. Anil Shah, Chief Executive Officer, Mega Bank Nepal Limited, Mr. Biswas Dhakal, President of CashOnAd, Bank Management Team, members of the Sakchyam Team and the media.
Mega Bank Nepal Limited with its Vision to be ‘Banker of every Nepali from Plough to Power – Halo to Hydro’, and with the support of Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme has launched an unique and affordable product — “TAB BANKING” along with the establishment of 4 new branches and 30 new BLB and Tablet Banking Agents in the mid and far western regions of Nepal. Sakchyam’s support to the project is for 3 years and will covering 6 districts – Achham, Baitadi, Dadeldhura, Dang, Kailali and Salyan. A Live Demonstration of how their new Tablet Banking product would work when dealing with potential customers was also presented to the audience. The tablet has the added advantage of being used for financial literacy purposes as well.
While poverty levels have fallen since the end of the conflict in Nepal in 2006, they remain particularly high in Nepal’s rural west where the poverty incidence is as high as 45.6% compared to the national average of 25.16%. These high poverty rates are closely associated with lack of economic opportunities for the poor. One reason for this is the low level of financial access in rural areas which is limited by high delivery costs and risks. Sakchyam focuses on the constraints faced by formal and semi-formal financial institutions (e.g., banks, MFIs, and cooperatives) in expanding the reach of financial services. By filling this gap in the sector, it directly increases SMEs’ and poor households’ access to financial services in underserved regions, increasing private sector activity and the rate of poverty reduction in Nepal.
Talking about Sakchyam’s partnership with Mega Bank, Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme, Team Leader, Mr. Baljit Vohra said, “Through this partnership, we are now moving quickly to rollout micro-banking products and services using innovative delivery channels that will bring banking a step closer to the rural communities. The combined use of PoS and tablet banking is transformational and in line with Sakchyam’s resolve to encourage the use of digital platforms for enhancing financial inclusion.”
The Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme is an initiative funded with UK aid from the British Government as part of a bilateral agreement between the Governments of Nepal and the UK. It is implemented by Louis Berger for the Department of International Development (DFID Nepal) in partnership with local and international institutions.