HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Catching on to the wave of using technology
for practical purposes, Nepali companies are relieving clients of
their household chores.
eSewa, an online payment
portal and PayBill, a mobile payment SMS service, are making everyday transactions a lot more easier.
marketing manager of eSewa says, “eSewa is a free online payment gateway that aids safe, easy and trendy transactions. Through this service, customers can carry out
their transactions at various
e-commerce sites without
exposing credit and bank
account numbers to the
merchant.” eSewa has partnered with Commerz and Trust Bank, Siddhartha Development Bank, Sanima Bank, Tourism Development Bank, Global Bank, Everest Bank, Nabil Bank, NCC Bank, Laxmi Bank, Kist Bank, NIC Bank, NMB Bank, Janata Bank, Bank of Asia, Bank of Kathmandu and Annapurna Finance Ltd.
Explaining about the security of transactions, Niraula
informs, “With eSewa, the bank account numbers are not exposed to sellers. There is protection against unauthorised payments sent from unknown accounts, as every purchase is only confirmed with an email receipt with strong password and the information is encrypted before being transmitted through the internet.” The deposits or transfer of money through the partner banks and eSewa is carried through a
secure VPN connection.
Recalling the yesteryears, Niraula adds, “When eSewa was launched, clients would experiment with only Rs 200 to Rs 300 to try the service and remain on the safe side. Now we limit the amount of transaction to Rs 20,000.” Although the idea of launching eSewa came up in 2004, it did not materialise
because of limited internet users and low literacy rate in the country. The site was finally launched in 2009, with paypal.com being its inspiration. The company had a tough time during its initial phase,
as people hesitated to entrust their money to the service.
The company initially targeted cyber cafés, which would use the service to pay their
utility bills and buy recharge cards. Now, eSewa claims to have 80,000 clients from all walks of life. It collects its revenue from various merchants according to the transactions made by clients.
Its service is reportedly available all over the world, as long as users have an account.
Another service offering cashless transactions is PayBill, a mobile payment service launched in 2008, which claims to have
transformed the phone into a wallet. Mohit Maharjan, marketing manager of the company says, “PayBill is a
revolutionary payment product, where a mobile is used as credit and debit card to make easy and secure payments.” According to him, the advantage of PayBill is that it is an SMS based service which
allows clients the flexibility to make transactions without
revealing bank account details to the merchants. Maharjan adds, “It was difficult to make clients understand about this concept, but now they are
enthusiastic about its ease.”
The site claims that PayBill can be used to transact with accredited merchants as well as users that have an account with the partnered banks — Everest Bank Ltd, Citizens Bank International Ltd, Nabil mobile banking and Rastriya Banijya Bank. According to Maharjan, each transaction is verified by an ‘Alpha-code’
followed by ‘PIN number’ which is provided to users during registration. The mobile number is associated directly to the bank account, where
the amount is debited from
the customer’s account automatically through a secured channel without human
Maharjan says, “There is no registration or annual charge, but only the cost of an SMS every time when payment is made, plus a nominal service charge by PayBill on every utility bill transaction.” According to him, the company has
approximately 20,000 customers and collects its revenue via different merchants
according to the transactions carried out.
Both eSewa and PayBill
provide customers the facilities of recharging cell phones, paying school and college fees, subscribing to newspapers and magazines, paying restaurant and retail bills, purchasing movie and airline tickets, shopping online, paying internet bills, et cetera. To start online payments through eSewa, clients simply need to register at esewa.com.np. To start with PayBill’s service, clients need
to visit the partnered banks or log on to