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Banks not to accept TCs from November

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: Anyone with traveller’s cheques at home should get them cashed as soon as possible for they will not be accepted by Nepali banks from early November.

Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has asked the public to get their traveller’s cheques exchanged with domestic currency at licensed financial institutions within the next 45 days. Traveller’s cheque (TC) is an alternate payment instrument used by travellers to make payments in foreign countries.

In Nepal, TC issued by American Express is sold by commercial banks to Nepali travellers. However, American Express stopped issuing dollar denominated TCs for Nepal since August 15 and has provided a certain timeframe to banks to clear outstanding TCs already sold.

“Currently, we are exchanging dollar denominated TCs sold to our customers,” informed head of corporate affairs at Standard Chartered Bank Nepal Diwakar Poudel. “Anyone with a TC and going abroad for a trip can use it in that country if it is still acceptable there,” he said, adding, “However, it is better to cash TC as its universal acceptance is declining as it is being replaced by plastic cards.”

Most banks are only exchanging TCs sold by them. NRB has also emphasised on use of credit, debit or pre-paid cards to make payments during foreign trips.

“Worldwide also, the use of TC is declining and payments through cards are better and a safer alternative, so we are promoting cards,” said spokesperson for NRB Bhaskar Mani Gyanwali. “Moreover, unlike cards, TC is losing its universal acceptance and like in Nepal, issuers have stopped issuing TCs for many countries where business is low.”

Only those with an income from foreign countries are issued dollar denominated debit or credit cards by commercial banks.

However, those living in Nepal and earning only in Nepali rupee can get dollar denominated pre-paid cards to make payments abroad. “Banks will issue dollar pre-paid cards based on passport, air tickets and visa like exchanging dollars against Nepali rupee for travel purpose,” said Gyanwali.

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