A study was carried on the vision and roadmap for promoting e-commerce in Nepal by the Ministry of Commerce (MoC). According to the study, the main hurdle on the way of e-commerce is electronic payment system.
Why it Matters:
- According to the study, e-commerce can help a lot for development of micro, small and medium enterprises to sell their products and services globally.
- It recommends seeking modifications to the regulation, to allow micro-merchants to register with the MoC or allow ward-level registrations to be accepted when opening a business bank account.
According to the study:
- Data protection and privacy, cybersecurity, security of an e-commerce service, and consumer protection-related regulations should be issued to regulate and facilitate e-commerce entities.
- Buyers must be protected against the misrepresentation of goods for sale, and regulations protecting their rights when they are treated unfairly must be enforced.
- It has highlighted the need to work with Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to encourage the development of Payments Service Providers (PSPs).
- It recommends simplification in payment related issues that will boost the e-commerce relations with various countries.
- The cap in transaction amount put by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) on digital transactions and other regulations are not friendly for e-commerce.
What they are saying:
- “We can place orders through online trading platform through the use of cards issued by Visa, MasterCard and Union Pay and some of our banks that are allowed to settle the e-commerce transaction,” as per traders. “However, as a majority of banks have yet to be connected with the international payment system, charges of clearing (of transactions) is quite high.”
- One high-ranking official at the MoC said that the government has been putting its efforts to facilitate e-commerce as it has been emerging as an integral part of global trade. “E-commerce is important for a landlocked country like Nepal, where transportation cost is high,” the official said, adding, “Nepali exporters and importers can conduct trade at competitive rates through the use of online trading platforms and the MoC has been preparing a guideline to promote e-commerce.”
- There are numerous hassles in receiving payment from the buyer because fund transfers from foreign countries are investigated as a suspicious transaction in the country, as per traders.