With the circular issued by Nepal Rastra Bank on March 21, 2021, commercial and development banks have started issuing pre-paid dollar cards to their customers.
The pre-paid card with a maximum balance of USD 500 per year can be used for various international digital transactions.
One can pay for video streaming services like Amazon Prime or pay for international online learning platforms like Coursera. Online freelancers can also use this card to purchase international digital services and courses.
Which banks give pre-paid dollar cards in Nepal?
As per the provision of NRB, “A” Class and “B” Class commercial banks have started issuing the card.
So far 11 banks are issuing the dollar card.
The banks which have been issuing the pre-paid cards are NMB Bank, Nepal Investment Bank, Prabhu Bank, Siddhartha Bank, Nabil Bank, Mahalaxmi Bikas Bank, Kumari Bank, Global IME Bank, Himalayan Bank, Siddhartha Bank, Machhapuchchre Bank, and Sunrise Bank.
If customers want an immediate card without their name printed on it, they can get the card immediately on the same day.
For the ones who want dollar cards with their names, it takes around 10 days.
How to get a pre-paid dollar card in Nepal?
- Fill up a form at one of the designated banks by NRB
- Open an account if one does not have an account in the particular bank
- Submit the Know Your Customer (KYC) form if it has not been updated recently
- Submit Permanent Account Number (PAN)
The customer will also need to mention the purpose of the card. Once the customer submits the complete document and form, the bank will create a dollar account.
This account will be linked to one’s main account.
The bank will transfer the desired amount in the dollar account of the customer.
According to the banks, there is no limitation on the minimum amount. But, as the amount loading fee is Rs. 500, the customers have to pay this charge each time they load money into their dollar account. Extra charges including secure register fees and taxation might be levied on some banks.
While many customers, especially the startups view that the amount limitation is less, still they appreciate the initial step taken by NRB.