Recently the two pioneers of the modern digital wallet system in Nepal, Esewa and Khalti celebrated their 12th and 4th anniversary respectively.
The concept of digital payment is comparatively new when we compare it with the western countries and it will take time for people to go sufficiently cashless in Nepal. Having said that there seems no push from the e-wallet system, vendors and even the government to encourage people to use the digital transaction. Out of many problems, the lack of internet service is the prime discouraging factor to use digital wallets in the vendors.
What is Scan to Pay/ QR Code Payments?
The full form of QR code is QUick response Code. Although it is similar to the bar code, it stores a comparatively large amount of data than Bar Codes. It is comparatively safer, easier and convenient.
The QR code presented by the vendor contains the details of the vendor. The customer has to just add the amount to be paid and approve the transaction. User with a smartphone would just have to scan the QR code, enter the amount and the passcode to make the payment. Since QR code-based payment would be pre-authorised credit push, the vendor would receive funds in the bank/wallet account instantly.
Problem of QR Code Payment In Nepal
Recently, I walked into a big and popular department store for shopping (I won’t reveal the name). The following conversation took place between me and the officer there.
“Please connect me to the wifi available here so that I could perform the transaction”
“We don’t know the wifi password and it does not work here as well in the counter. “
“How am I am supposed to pay then?”
“Use your mobile data.”
That is how the present digital payment stands in most places of Kathmandu valley. That makes me wonder how the conditions of those scans to pays must be outside of the capital?
We as customers want to see benefits from using digital payment. If we were to use mobile data for the scan to pay services, we would rather use the cash and I believe that is not how the digitalization of Nepal will happen.
Rather than giving every vendor out there the QR payment options, it would be wise to provide with the QR or, quick response code, after careful inspection if the vendor can provide the wifi services to make payment through e-wallet with ease. Or the e-wallet servers should co-operate with the telecom services to provide free internet available throughout respective vendors.
The cashless transaction is the way to future but until and unless we are not provided with appropriate services for payment easily and smootly, the cashless transaction will never succeed.