Financial Institutions join hands

Kathmandu, December 23:

Plastic money — debit and credit cards — are the latest craze in town. The financial institutions not only compete but also feel proud in offering this latest banking product. But for the first time, they have joined hands to provide service to their large clientele base.

Eight financial institutions — Nepal Investment Bank, Nabil Bank, Bank of Kathmandu, Laxmi Bank, Rastriya Banijya Bank, Sunrise Bank, Nepal Development Bank and Nepal Share Market Ltd — today jointly inaugurated ATM Lounge at New Road. The initiative is expected not only to provide better services to the customers but also reduce the cost of operation of ATMs for all the participating banks.

"This is the first time Nepali financial institutions have joined hands to operate ATMs at a single location," said Anil Shah, CEO of Nabil Bank.

"Its a creative competition," he said adding that ATM Lounge will be more convenient for customers and cost-effective to the financial institutions as well. In the cut-throat competition also, they are working together to enhance their quality of service they provide their customers.

There are 25 commercial banks, 59 development banks, 78 finance companies, five rural development banks and many cooperatives, at present. And five more commercial banks and around a dozen development banks are in pipe line. All the financial institution strive to offer modern banking services to the customers.

The plastic money that everyone prefers to carry is considered the cheapest way to pay for purchases and withdraw cash. The cardholders will now have the advantage of availing the facilities from the 24-hour Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) of any of these eight financial institutions of their preference from a single location at New Road that is the oldest financial hub of the Kathmandu Valley.

Along with the newly-installed ATMs at New Road today, Nepal Investment Bank has now a total of 58 ATMs, whereas this was Nabil Bank’s 35th. This is the eighth ATM of Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB) — the only government bank — and its 11th ATM of the Laxmi Bank.

"We assure that we will strive to provide similar and innovative services in the days ahead," Shah added.

Contrary to writing cheque in old days, the usage of debit cards is increasing recently. It is said that debit cards carry the lowest overall costs. "However, the increasing load-shedding has made it difficult for the banks to provide the 24-hour service to their customers," said one banker.