Sakchyam and IME Digital Partnership: An Initiative towards Cashless Payments Ecosystem

January 30, 2020

Janakpur: UKaid Sakchyam Access to Finance programme and IME Digital Solution launched their second partnership project to create a digital payments ecosystem to enhance the reach of formal financial services among the population from remote and rural areas of the country. The development of the digital payments ecosystem is starting from Province 2, where IME Digital has taken this initiative towards creating a cashless Janakpur. The services will be rolled out gradually throughout the country.

The launch of the project was held in Janakpur on January 29 amidst a function where Honorable Chief Minister of Province 2 Mr Lalbabu Raut was the chief guest. Team Leader of Sakchaym, Mr Nirmal Dahal and CEO of IME Digital Mr Bikash Kumar Nahata signed and exchanged the partnership agreement to mark the official announcement of the partnership project.

The digital payments ecosystem designed under the partnership will use innovative digital financial service – Near Field Communication (NFC) to be used by customers, agents and merchants to conduct transactions.

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The event also marked the formal launch of IME Paisa Card — a digital wallet system where the instrument of payment modality is a card containing an NFC chip. To mark the official launch Chief Minister Raut handed an EMV POS device to one of the IME agents, while a Micro POS and an IME Paisa card were also handed to a merchant and customer respectively at the function.

Chief Minister Raut stressed on the importance of the expansion of formal financial services in the province to provide rural population better services and help them learn about the opportunities and benefits such services bring to them. Talking about the digital technologies in financial services he mentioned his belief that products like paisa card can make payments safer.

Talking about the partnership between Sakchyam and IME Digital, Mr Dahal said, “We started our partnership with IME Digital three years ago to launch IME Pay wallet. It has since become a household name, synonymous with easy and swift digital payments services. This is our second partnering with IME Digital – this time to introduce new technologies to help build a digital payments ecosystem. Under this project, IME Digital will establish 1,000 IME Fintech Centres equipped EMV POS devices, onboard 10,000 merchants who will accept payments through Micro-POS devices, and deploy 200,000 NFC enabled cards titled ‘Paisa Card’.”

Similarly, Mr Nahata said, “If we can rope in people into a financial circle, the possibility of extruding physical form of cash like notes and coins will be eradicated. This financial inclusion helps people connect to banking without actually ever having a traditional form of a bank account. IME Paisa card itself can become their first account, and this itself is an exciting outlook for the future”.

A demo session was also held after the event for those present to learn more about the new digital financial service system.

Other dignitaries present at the event were Mr Ram Krishna Subedi, Chief Secretary, Province, Mr Suman Pokharel, Chief Executive Officer, IME limited, Mr Baljit Vohra, Senior Vice President, Economic and Institutional Development, Louis Berger Mr Rob Clark, Private Sector Development Adviser, DFID Nepal and Mr Sanjeev Jha from Nepal Rastra Bank, Janakpur.

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