How to get prepaid dollar cards in Nepal

On March 21, 2021, the Foreign Exchange Management Department of the Nepal Rastra Bank announced that Nepali banks now can issue foreign-currency prepaid cards (‘dollar cards’) for online transactions for national and international transactions.

The central bank issued a circular to make all stakeholders aware of the amendment to Article 12 of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (2019) and all rights provided by it.

Following the announcement, Nepal is now open to international online transactions that were previously not possible via cards issued by Nepali banks. So, keep on reading in order to find out how you can get the prepaid dollar (credit cards) in Nepal.

Here is everything you need to know about the new amendment and what it entails:

Who can obtain the cards?

Any Nepali individual, firm, company or institutions can obtain the card from the authorized class ‘A’ commercial banks and class ‘B’ development banks. 

Class A Commercial Banks in Nepal

Agriculture Development BankHimalayan BankNepal BankPrabhu Commercial Bank
Bank of KathmanduKumari BankNepal Commerce and Credit BankRastriya Banijya Bank
Century Commercial BankLaxmi BankNepal Investment BankSanima Bank
Citizens Bank InternationalMachhapuchchre BankNepal SBI BankSiddhartha Bank
Civil BankMega BankNIC Asia BankStandard Chartered Bank
Everest BankNabil BankNMB BankSunrise Bank
Global IME BankNepal Bangladesh BankPrabhu Bank

Class B Development Banks in Nepal

Corporate Development BankKamana Sewa Bikas BankMuktinath Bikash BankShangri-la Development Bank
Excel Development BankKarnali Bikash BankNarayani Development BankShine Rasunga Development Bank
Garima Bikas BankLumbini Bikash BankSahara Bikas BankSindhu Bikas Bank
Green Development BankMahalaxmi Bikash BankSalapa Bikash Bank
Jyoti Bikas BankMiteri Development BankSaptakoshi Development Bank

How to get credit cards in Nepal ?

You need to submit the following documents to obtain a credit card:

  • Card issuance form
  • Updated know your customer (KYC) form
  • Permanent identification number (PAN) card
  • Declaration of being an owner of one prepaid card only

What can you do with the card?

  • Deposit at most USD 500 or equivalent in the account at once or within a year. The transaction year will start from the day the card has been issued.  
  • Use the card to buy or make transactions online, within the limit of USD 500 annually.
  • Deposit the income you receive from international outlets of up to USD 5,000 annually.  Income over the limit will be directed to a personal account.
  • Exchange currencies up to USD 500 or equivalent.

What you cannot do?

  • Obtain two prepaid cards from one or two banks simultaneously. If found guilty, the owner is liable to be penalized under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (2019).
  • Go against (Money) Laundering Prevention Act (2008).
  • Withdraw the money from ATM booths or use the card to pay with point-of-sale (POS) machines, like other SCT or Visa cards.
  • Make transactions beyond the fixed limit of USD 500. If found guilty, the NRB can hold or cancel the transaction or even the card.

For now, USD 500 might not seem like a significant amount, however, it is just the beginning. And the signs seem positive. Hopefully in the future things will improve significantly.

What are the banks’ obligations?

Banks have to:

  • Present a monthly statement of the transaction to the NRB Foreign Exchange Management Department.
  • Move forward with any valid refund claimed as per the policies in regards to the exchange rates of the day.
  • Provide the card owner with the statement of transactions and any other necessary documents, when asked.

As of now, the following banks have already started providing this service in Nepal:

  • Global IME Bank: Global E-com Card
  • Himalayan Bank: HBL Dollar Prepaid Card
  • Kumar Bank: Kumar $eCom Card
  • Machhapuchchre Bank: Machhapuchchre Dollar Card
  • Mahalaxmi Bikas Bank: Mahalaxmi Dollar Card
  • Nabil Bank: Nabil iCard
  • Nepal Investment Bank: NIBL vPrepaid International Card
  • NMB Bank: NMB Dollar Card
  • Prabhu Bank: Prabhu 500 Card
  • Siddhartha Bank: Siddhartha eCom Card
  • Sunrise Bank: Sunrise E-card