WeChat, the ultimate Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment service from the popular company Tencent has finally managed to have its footprint in Nepal. WeChat has recently received permission to operate its electronic transactions in Nepal. However, it was not until few months ago that WeChat and Alipay were declared illegal by Nepal Rastra Bank – the central bank of the country.
WeChat, first released in 2011, has today became one of the world’s largest standalone mobile apps with over billion of monthly active users globally – however – having a majority of Chinese speaking users.
WeChat transactions are handled by and under the authority of NMB Bank. Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has given exclusive permission for the NMB Bank to acquire all financial transactions in Nepal – however – not much is clarified about digital only or electronic only or both kind of transactions.
It might take some time, due to legalities and formalities, before WeChat payments (should we refer to as WeChat Pay?) are actually possible in Nepal. There is also possibility that other banking institutions can apply and get permission for WeChat Pay transactions in Nepal.
WeChat Pay is particularly popular among Chinese tourists and transactions occur among hospitality industry sector – restaurants and hotels in Pokhara, Thamel and Lumbini.
Post legal WeChat payment, Nepal is likely to see more on foreign currency transactions as such electronic transactions will now be linked and processed via Nepali banking systems. More options mean always betterment for business. Welcome to to the late but new initiative by NRB to enhance ecommerce, tourism and electronic payment in the country.