Kathmandu, June 18
The Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) has announced that mobile financial services would be aggressively promoted in the country starting July 16.
In a bid to expand internet use among people by encouraging cashless business transactions, the telecommunication sector regulator is preparing to promote mobile financial services in the country in coordination with Nepal Rastra Bank, mobile network providers and different financial institutions, according to NTA Chairman Digambar Jha.
“We are running ‘Mobile Money’ campaign across the country from mid-July to promote cashless transactions and boost internet penetration in Nepal,” Jha said while addressing the second conference of Nepal Network Operators’ Group (npNOG), adding that the campaign will be promoted in all rural municipalities in coordination with domestic banks and financial institutions.
According to NTA officials, the authority would sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) soon with NRB to promote mobile financial services.
As per the recently prepared NTA guideline for mobile financial services, independent firms willing to launch mobile financial services will be issued licence from NRB based on certain criteria and the central bank will regulate such services. However, such companies should also take ‘no objection’ letter from NTA, said officials.
Jha said that lack of sufficient domestic internet content has been slowing down internet penetration in Nepal. “The government, basically the ministries, should generate ample internet content in sectors like health, education, entertainment, technology, among others, to encourage the use of internet in the country,” added Jha.
On the occasion, Jha also informed that NTA has initiated a process to manage the cables and wires that are hanging haphazardly from electricity poles along the Kathmandu Valley streets.
According to him, NTA will soon launch a pilot project to manage cables and wires hanging along the Soltimode-Airport route in Kathmandu and different places in Kirtipur.
Addressing the conference, npNOG President Samit Jana said that there is lack of strong coordination in Nepal among different mobile network and internet service providers. “The conference aims to bring together all the stakeholders of network providers in the country and discuss issues related to internet, mobile network and securities,” Jana said.
Amid a pre-conference event held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, npNOG had provided trainings to more than 250 people on mobile technology, internet, network services and internet security, among others.
A version of this article appears in print on June 19, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.