Internet Banking in Nepal: Trends, Features, and Strategies for Inclusive Growth

The advent of the internet and technology has transformed traditional banking services globally. Internet banking, also known as online banking or e-banking, has now emerged as a popular way for customers to conveniently manage their finances online in Nepal.

Internet banking was first introduced in Nepal in the early 2000s. Since then, there has been a gradual but steady rise in the adoption of internet banking across the country.

According to statistics from Nepal Rastra Bank, there were over 1.6 million registered internet banking customers and over 18 million mobile banking users in Nepal by the end of the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

All major commercial banks in Nepal now offer internet banking facilities to their customers.

Some of the most popular internet banking service providers include banks like:

  • Nepal Investment Bank
  • Global IME Bank
  • Nabil Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank Nepal
  • Himalayan Bank
  • Nepal SBI Bank and more. These banks allow customers to conveniently perform basic banking transactions like checking account balances, transferring funds, paying utility bills, recharging mobile balance and more, simply via their website or mobile app.

The convenience, efficiency and security offered by internet banking has made it an appealing option for tech savvy, urban Nepalese looking for modern banking solutions. However, internet penetration remains relatively low in rural parts of Nepal. Lack of awareness and digital literacy are key challenges inhibiting widespread adoption across the country. But with increasing technological development, the future prospects for internet banking in Nepal look promising.

Benefits of Internet Banking in Nepal

The introduction of internet banking in Nepal has revolutionized the banking experience for customers by providing a multitude of benefits and advantages. Here are some of the key benefits driving the popularity of internet banking in Nepal:


One of the biggest advantages of internet banking is the sheer convenience it offers customers. It allows customers to access their bank accounts, review financial information and conduct transactions 24/7 from the comfort of their homes or offices. Customers can avoid having to personally visit bank branches during working hours to carry out banking activities. Internet banking is available on-the-go through laptops, mobile phones and other devices with internet access.

Time Savings

Carrying out banking transactions via traditional methods at physical bank branches often involves long queues and waiting times. Internet banking significantly cuts down the time taken for transactions as customers can simply log into their accounts online and conduct transfers, payments and other activities swiftly within a few clicks and taps. The real-time processing enables instant access.


Internet banking reduces banking costs for customers in multiple ways. The need for paper transaction slips is eliminated, bringing down paper costs. Customers also save on transportation costs to visit bank branches. Digital transactions cost banks much lesser to process compared to physical transactions, enabling some banks to offer lower service charges on online banking.

Simplified Tracking and Monitoring

Internet banking interfaces provide real-time information on financial accounts to customers. Up-to-date balances, transaction histories, bank statements can be easily retrieved at any time. Customers can closely monitor their finances without extensive paperwork. Alerts and notifications for transactions provide enhanced monitoring.

Secure Platform

Leading banks in Nepal utilize robust security measures like encryption, firewalls, multi-factor authentication (MFA) and more to secure internet banking platforms and protect customer information. This prevents frauds and unauthorized access, making it much safer than handling finances via cash.

Expanded Access

Internet banking services can be accessed from any location with internet access. Customers who frequently travel or stay abroad can still easily manage their Nepalese bank accounts remotely through internet banking. It expands access beyond Nepal.

Digital Payments Enablement

Internet banking allows for secure digital payments for utilities, online shopping, ticket booking and other digital transactions. Customers can avoid the hassles of cash handling. It facilitates e-commerce growth.

In summary, internet banking has been enthusiastically adopted in Nepal thanks to the myriad of benefits it entails in terms of convenience, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, simplified monitoring, security and digital enablement for customers. It has simplified banking for tech-savvy consumers in the country.

Features of Internet Banking Offered by Nepali Banks

Banks across Nepal have established robust internet banking platforms and portals to cater to the rising demand for online banking among digitally inclined customers. The features and services offered via internet banking by leading Nepali banks include:

Account Information Retrieval

One of the most basic features provided is the ability to check real-time account balances, transaction histories and bank statements for saving accounts, current accounts, fixed and recurring deposits through the internet banking portal or mobile app. Customers can view up-to-date financial information 24/7.

Intrabank Funds Transfer

A key feature is the facility to seamlessly transfer funds between accounts maintained within the same bank, which is facilitated via internet banking instantly. Customers can transfer money between accounts like savings and current accounts.

Interbank Funds Transfer

Internet banking also enables funds transfers to accounts in other banks across Nepal through NEFT and RTGS mechanisms. This allows convenient money transfers to third parties in external banks.

Utility Bill Payments

Customers can pay their electricity, water, telephone, ISP, insurance, credit cards and other recurring utility bills via the bill payment feature on internet banking. Manual bill payment is avoided.

Mobile and DTH Recharge

Top-ups and recharges for personal mobile, landline, and DTH connections can be done instantly via internet banking. Customers no longer need to purchase top-up cards physically.

Online Shopping and Ticket Booking

Many banks facilitate payments for e-commerce purchases, travel ticket bookings and other online services through internet gateways integrated into their internet banking portals. This allows paperless payments.

Investment Services

Banks also provide the option to open and operate fixed deposits, recurring deposits and avail other investment services fully online. Customers can manage their investments via internet banking.

Loan Services

Many banks in Nepal now offer the option to apply for personal loans, home loans, vehicle loans, education loans and other types of loans through their online banking platform and track loan status. This brings convenience to the loan process.

Tax Payment

Certain banks also facilitate payment of taxes like income tax, VAT, excise duty and more via their internet banking platform providing an electronic tax payment facility.

Statement Requests

In addition to viewing e-statements online, customers can also request physical bank account statements to be delivered to them via internet banking.

Thus, Nepali banks have incorporated a diverse array of features from basic account access to complex services like investments and loans to provide holistic internet banking solutions to their tech-savvy customers across the country.

Security Measures Implemented for Internet Banking in Nepal

With the proliferation of internet banking in Nepal, banking security has become paramount. Several robust security mechanisms have been implemented by Nepali banks to secure their internet banking platforms and transactions:

Secure Site Certification

Banks use SSL/TLS encryption certified by trusted third parties like Verisign to secure the data transmission between the bank’s servers and the customer’s internet banking portal. This is evident through “https” and security seals.

Multi-factor Authentication

Banks increasingly use two-factor or multi-factor authentication mechanisms while logging into internet banking. This requires customers to provide an additional one-time password sent to their mobile phone or email via OTP besides just the username and password. This adds an extra security layer.

Transaction Authentication

Certain critical online transactions require additional authentication and confirmation from customers via OTP or transaction signing using passwords or PINs. This is required for large fund transfers, loan applications, etc.

Virtual Keyboard

Randomized virtual keyboards are used during login and transaction screens to prevent any malicious key-logging software from recording actual keys pressed. Customers have to click on the randomized keys to enter passwords.

Device Identification

Advanced algorithms are used to identify the customer’s device through parameters like IP address, operating system, browser type and version. Any logins from unrecognized devices are blocked or require further authentication.

Secure Password Policies

Strong password policies like minimum 8 characters, alphanumeric mix, special characters, periodic change requirements are enforced for internet banking passwords. This prevents easy guessing of passwords.

Firewalls and Anti-virus Systems

Banks extensively use firewalls, anti-virus systems and intrusion detection/prevention systems. Firewalls filter unauthorized traffic while anti-virus systems block malware and viruses. This protects the banking systems.

Regular Security Audits

Banks conduct regular information security audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. This proactively identifies any security gaps or loopholes in the system. These are immediately fixed.

Customer Awareness and Education

Customers are made aware of basic security hygiene like avoiding suspicious emails, securing devices, complex passwords. Banks provide security tips on their portals and emails. This prevents customer-side weaknesses.

In summary, Nepali banks are making every effort to implement state-of-the-art internet banking security mechanisms leveraging encryption, multi-factor authentication, transaction authorization, virtual keyboards, device identification, stringent passwords, firewalls, anti-virus systems, regular audits and customer education. Internet banking security is the top priority.

Challenges Faced in Adopting Internet Banking in Nepal

While internet banking is gaining steady traction in Nepal, its widespread adoption across the country is challenged by some key obstacles:

Low Internet Penetration

Challenges Faced in Adopting Internet Banking in Nepal

Nepal’s internet penetration, especially broadband connectivity, remains relatively low compared to other developing countries. Fixed broadband penetration is just around 2% while mobile internet penetration is estimated to be 65% as of 2021. This limits access to internet banking in rural areas.

Digital Illiteracy

Digital illiteracy and lack of awareness about internet banking persists predominantly among the rural population in Nepal. Many are still uncomfortable with or unable to understand online transactions and apps limiting internet banking adoption.

Preference for Traditional Banking

Visiting a neighborhood bank remains the preferred and trusted mode of banking for a vast majority, especially senior citizens. Shifting their loyalties entirely to internet banking remains a challenge.


A deep fear of technology prevents many individuals from embracing internet banking as they perceive it to be risky and unsafe. They prefer in-person interactions.

Perceived Risk of Cyber Fraud

Stories of cyber frauds have made some customers apprehensive to adopt internet banking as they perceive their money may be at risk. Lack of trust is a hindrance.

Unstable Internet Connectivity

Internet connectivity issues, network outages and slow speeds across Nepal disrupts access to internet banking and degrades customer experience. This discourages its adoption.

Digital Payment Habit

High reliance on cash-based transactions and lack of comfort with digital payments prevents customers from appreciating the benefits of paperless banking via internet.

Language Barrier

A majority of internet banking apps and web portals have English interfaces. This hampers adoption among Nepali language speakers who comprise a majority in rural Nepal.

Generational Gap in Technology Use

Younger, tech-savvy generations are quicker to adopt internet banking compared to older generations in Nepal leading to a generational gap in usage.

Overall, Nepal’s bibliographic and infrastructural challenges coupled with deeply entrenched social behaviors pose hindrances to internet banking adoption. But continued technological progress and targeted awareness campaigns can help overcome these hurdles over time.

Strategies to Promote Wider Adoption of Internet Banking in Nepal

While internet banking usage has expanded in urban centers of Nepal, focused efforts are required to promote its adoption across semi-urban and rural demographics through the following strategies:

Expand Internet Connectivity Infrastructure

The government should continue its efforts to expand broadband and mobile internet penetration into rural areas through fiber optics backbone and mobile tower infrastructure expansion. Reliable internet connectivity is key for propagating internet banking geographically.

Increase Digital and Financial Literacy

Digital literacy programs should be organized, especially for rural populations to educate them on accessing the internet, using mobile apps, conducting digital payments and using internet banking. This will address knowledge gaps.

Enhance Online Security Measures

Banks must continue enhancing security systems, sharing best practices, and complying with latest guidelines by Nepal Rastra Bank to make internet banking platforms more secure. This will build trust.

Simplify User Interfaces

Many banks now offer internet banking in English and Nepali languages. User interfaces of apps and portals should be simplified further through vernacular languages to make them understandable across demographics.

Demonstrate Cost and Time Benefits

Banks should highlight to rural audiences through marketing campaigns how internet banking saves time and money compared to traditional banking. Demonstrating practical benefits can boost adoption.

Onboard Microfinance Institutions

Collaborating with microfinance institutions who have rural penetration can help propagate internet banking through their customer network to reach remote regions.

Promote Through Bank Representatives

Bank representatives in semi-urban branches should educate customers in their regions on how to use internet banking and its benefits to transition them away from branches.

Offer Incentives to New Users

First-time internet banking users, especially in rural areas, can be provided small financial incentives or cashbacks to get started. Referral incentives to existing users also help acquisition.

Start Transition in Urban Areas

Urban, educated demographics who already have familiarity with technology should be fully transitioned first to internet banking through campaigns to set the trend for nationwide adoption.

With the coordinated efforts of banks, government agencies, technology partners and local communities, the reach of internet banking can encompass the entire country over the next decade. The strategies outlined above can drive quicker adoption across all sections of society.

Key Takeaways

  • Internet banking offers unmatched convenience, efficiency, and accessibility over traditional banking for customers in Nepal.
  • Leading Nepali banks provide a diverse range of features from account access to complex services through their internet banking platforms.
  • Stringent security mechanisms like encryption, multi-factor authentication, firewalls, and customer education are implemented to secure internet banking.
  • Challenges like low internet penetration, lack of awareness, apprehensions about cybercrime, and language barriers are inhibiting widespread adoption.
  • Strategies like expanding digital infrastructure, literacy programs, interface localization, and financial incentives can promote greater internet banking adoption across Nepal.
  • Internet banking has promising growth prospects in Nepal with increasing technological development across the country.

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