The world is becoming increasingly connected with innovations in technology helping to provide even some of the most developing countries with ways to transfer funds around the world. One such example, is Nepal, and while the financial infrastructure in the country is somewhat disconnected, there are some methods of transfer that are allowing people to send money overseas to and from the country.
Western Union is one of the leaders in providing this level of connection to Nepal. But how exactly is Western Union really impacting the country? We’re digging deeper to find out.
What Is Western Union?
Western Union is “a leader in global payment services” and offers one of the most popular methods of country-to-country payments. Anyone from global corporations to your average everyday family can use Western Union to move money from place to place, and with over 800 million transactions just in 2017, it’s clear to see that they really are a popular alternative to bank transfers.
Security is key when it comes to monetary movement, whether on a smaller or business scale. Western Union has continued to keep security as a focal point across all global transactions.
Western Union is growing more and more, with mobile payments, relatively affordable transfer fees and ease of use making it possible for everyone to use. Casual payments can be sent via Western Union without the need for ID too, so on a familial or consumer scale, this is perfect for those with limited means. However, more than £800 a year will lead you to need to scan your relevant photo ID, which is a little stricter than most other payment authentication.
Why Is Nepal So Disconnected?
Nepal’s current developing state can be put down to its weak institutions, difficult geographical state and a high level of corruption throughout the country. As you may well know, the past 100 years in Nepal have seen a lot of political turmoil. From monarchy to corrupt governments, and the recent democratic constitution, it has been practically impossible for Nepal to settle into any kind of government, let alone form international relations with any others.
This lack of stability led to the slowing down of not only international relations but in development of local infrastructure which could’ve meant better facilities in which to connect to countries across the globe financially.
To make matters worse, the volume of plain land that is good enough for crop production sits at just 17% which means that as a country, getting these crops across the country or having anything to trade with other countries is a struggle. The earthquake of 2015 brought about even more hardship, with a lack of proper shelter, clothing and food in some areas and due to the limited internal transport infrastructure, aid has been slow.
However, despite the hardships, Nepal is developing and with a stable democratic government in place, the potential to grow much more rapidly isn’t quite as out of reach as it may have been originally. The NT and NTA were set to deliver free high-speed internet, China provided solar energy panels and with every passing day, Nepal grows that bit stronger.
What Can Western Union Do To Connect Nepal To The Rest Of The World Financially?
Western Union payments are some of the only cost-effective payments for global transactions in Nepal but their effect on the country has gone much further than this in recent years. With their ease of payment across borders, the possibility of quick, simple interaction with companies across the world is more likely than ever before and even in practice already.
Western Union state on their website that they “connect people” and “connect businesses” and this could truly prove to help Nepal thrive in the future and with their Western Union Business Solutions offering industry-specific solutions, the potential for economic improvement is huge.
However, while the likes of the Western Union Foundation and their ‘Education For Better’ commitment are aiming to help countries across the world that are currently developing just like Nepal, the only proof of aid we have at our fingertips is traced back to the 2015 Earthquake. Western Union has transfer fees attached to their service, and when the 7.9 magnitude earthquake shook the country, those looking to give aid weren’t too happy with the fact that a chunk of their donation wasn’t going to its intended destination because of it.
A number of petitions and general disruption by these people caused Western Union to commit to no-fee transfers until 14th May of that year. This was a small move, and one that could arguably have been a lot smoother and have gone on for much longer, but it was a move nonetheless.
Western Union offers Nepalese people and other citizens from around the world the ability to transfer money between accounts with ease and for a developing country, this is a tool that could be highly valuable. Not only has it made providing aid to the country a much smoother process, but with the potential behind their development projects and the fact that businesses could see much easier and seamless transfers with global companies, the possibilities truly are endless.
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