Nepali Commercial Banks have started issuing prepaid dollar cards following the directive of Nepal Rastra Bank.
Banks including NMB and Nabil have already introduced such cards. Other commercial banks and development banks will also provide such cards.
Foreign goods and services purchased online can be paid through this card. Mandeep Bhattarai, head of NMB Bank’s card department, said that payment for goods purchased through online shopping including Alibaba and Amazon can be made through the card.
“If you want to watch a movie from Netflix or pay for other entertainment programs, you can also pay by card,” he said in an interview. Similarly, online advertising expenses can be paid through the card.
According to Bhattarai, a card fee of Rs 500 is charged and another transaction fee of Rs 500 is charged. After that, the fee will not be deducted for the occasional payment.
Some banks may even deduct fees when transacting. Customers can get information from the bank in advance.
The same card is renewed after one year. There is no charge for the card when renewing. However, Bhattarai said that an additional fee of Rs 500 would be charged for the transaction.
The card can be ‘loaded’ up to $500. The amount is deducted from the account according to the exchange rate of the same day. In other words, the card maker on Wednesday has to pay Rs 58,090 according to the exchange rate on this day. Customers can collect less than $500 on the card.
Nabil Bank has also been charging Rs 1,000 per card. According to Suresh Tripathi, information officer of the bank, the validity of such card is 4 years. But it has to be renewed every year.
You can’t spend more than $500 a year. Or after spending $500, you have to wait a year to spend more. The calculation period usually starts from the second day after the card is activated.
You need a page number to get the card. Based on the same page number, it is found out whether the customer has taken the card from another bank or not.
Until now, Nepalis have been using foreign cards to pay for goods or services purchased online. Such amount was being paid through the cards of relatives or friends abroad.
“Until now, there was no facility to pay for goods imported from abroad, which led to unofficial outflows. Now, such expenses will come through formal channels,” Bhattarai said.
Which indirectly had some effect on the size of remittances. Remittances from abroad used to flow in the same manner.
Bankers take positively the arrangement made by NRB to legalize the expenditure of illegal means.
Not only individuals but also organizations can get the card in the same way. The transaction limit is the same for institutions. Such cards cannot be withdrawn using ATMs or payments through POS machines.
What documents are needed to obtain prepaid dollar card?
If you want to get a dollar card from a bank with an account, you need to fill out a request form for the card. But your KYC details in the bank should be updated.
According to the prevailing law, the customer has to fill the self-declaration form stating that he will spend the amount. The self-declaration states that after taking one card, the intention not to take from another bank, commitment not to take money, commitment not to use money outside the prevailing law, or if found to have done so, I am ready to face action.
A copy of your PAN card and citizenship is also required. Those who do not have a page number do not get such a card. If you do not have an account with the bank, you must complete the entire process to open an account.
The money coming from abroad is also collected in the card.
Some Nepalis are getting their remuneration by working in foreign companies. Similarly, some YouTube operators are also receiving service charges. The fee can be collected up to USD 5,000 by card.
“Only after more than 5,000 dollars should be deposited in his domestic or foreign currency account. They can keep up to 5,000 dollars in the card,” Bhattarai said.