This multicultural country has been known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal since 2008, with seven provinces spanning the highest part of the Himalayan mountain ranges, covering an array of biocultural diversity. Due to the proximity and pre-arranged friendship treaties, India and China remain close allies of Nepal, and a high number of international money transfers originated from these countries. We will be looking at the fastest, most reliable choices for sending money to Nepal on this page.
Nepal’s full name is the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, and it is a landlocked country in South Asia, bordering China and India. Located in the Himalayas, it is home to Mount Everest and many other of the world’s largest mountains. The capital of Kathmandu is famous for its religious monuments, such as awe-inspiring temples and parts of the ancient Silk Road.
It is estimated roughly 10% of the population have emigrated overseas to pursue jobs abroad. Due to this fact, Nepalese citizens have full access to the Indian job market; without the need for a work visa, many individuals head across the border to India to work. In the second quarter of 2021, the central bank, Nepal Rastra Bank, reported a 16.5% increase in global remittances, most of which were sent from Nepali workers living overseas.
Introduced in 1932, the Nepalese Rupee (NPR) is the official legal tender of Nepal, and it is subdivided into 100 paisa. Although it is not the same as, and should not be confused with, the Indian rupee (INR), NPR is pegged to INR and has been since 1994. This means that the central bank – the Nepal Rastra Bank – has fixed the exchange rate to the Indian rupee to achieve long-term predictability and a stabilized conversion rate.
When dealing with cash, Nepalese rupees exist in denominations of 1, 2, 5, and 10 coins; banknotes are denominated into 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 rupees, respectively.
Sending money to Nepal is simple and easy. Follow these steps to get started.
There are multiple ways to easily send and receive money in Nepal but these will largely depend on the provider you decide to use. Below you will find everything you need to know about sending and receiving money.
Nepal is a relatively small economy with a sizable population of 29.3 million as of 2017. However, over 30 percent of the economy is dependent on remittances. As a result, places as remote as Cheskam in the northeast have recently received more money from their loved ones in the diaspora.
When sending money home to your family, relatives, and friends, there are several options to use. The formal are banks and money transfer operators (MTOs).
Nepal has close to 250 financial institutions licensed by the Nepal Rastra Bank (the central bank of Nepal). However, not every financial institution has the capacity and mandate to provide wire transfer services, but most do, including the 28 Class A commercial banks.
About 60% of Nepalese are unbanked. This phenomenon makes wire transfers the least preferred way of sending money to the country. A typical wire transfer from Qatar takes about 3 to 5 days to get to a Nepalese in Kathmandu. The cost of sending is relatively higher compared to money transfer operators.
These inconveniences have made Nepalese abroad seek alternative ways of sending money to their loved ones back home.
Money transfer service providers are the dominant players in Nepal’s transfer corridors. There are some providers, such as Arabian Exchange Company, that predominantly operate on the Gulf remittance corridors. Others like Western Union, MoneyGram, Xoom, WorldRemit, Xpress Money, Ria, and Small World are worldwide.
Money transfer operators require that you signup for an account, pay for the transfer using a debit card, credit card, bank debit (ACH), bank transfer, or cash deposit. Once your account is loaded, you can transfer to a bank account or cash pickup agent through the website, mobile app, or store.
When sending money to Nepal using MTOs, you can choose any of the following methods depending on your preferences and interests.
Bank transfers – You can deposit money directly into the recipient’s account in Nepal. Of course, this method serves the banked population. However, most people in areas such as Province 2, the most multidimensionally poor province in Nepal, do not have access to banking facilities. For this reason, bank transfers, whether from MTOs to banks or bank to bank, are not commonly used in Nepal.
Cash Pickup- This method of sending money to Nepal resonates well with Nepalese abroad. The advantage it has is that the recipients get their money in a ready-to-use form. For the unbanked populations, this is convenient. Providers such as Western Union, Ooredoo Mobile Money (OMM), Arabian Exchange Company, MoneyGram, Xoom, Ria, and others have enjoyed high transfer volumes to Nepal in the past couple of years.
Mobile Wallet – If you are sending from Qatar to Nepal, you can use the OMM mobile wallet service to deposit directly to the recipient’s mobile in Nepal. This method is convenient for small amounts. However, the maximum you can send per day is 10,000 Qatari riyals, equivalent to $2,740.
Some Nepalese use Informal Value Transfer Systems such as Hundi to send money home. Such channels commonly used in the Korea-Nepal corridor are illegal and not regulated by the formal banking system. Using them may expose you to unnecessary risks and fraud.
When sending money to Nepal, money transfer service providers will require that you provide some information. The information varies from one provider to another and the method of sending money you choose. That said, the following are some of the details that you’ll have to provide.
Depending on where you are sending from, you may have to provide additional information to satisfy the authorities.
In Nepal, your loved ones can receive money formally in three main ways: bank deposit, cash pickup, and mobile deposit. Nepalese especially prefer the last two methods because they are simple and do not require one to have a bank account.
Bank Deposit – Nepalese with bank accounts can choose to receive money through this method. Bank deposits are safe and preferred for large amounts. In terms of speed, providers such as WorldRemit can take a day to deposit money in a bank account in Nepal from the United States.
Cash Collection – Most providers in Nepal have cash payout points in convenient places throughout the country. For example, Western Union has 5,600 retail locations in Nepal. OMM has partnered with MoneyGram to expand its network and offer Nepalese more flexibility in receiving money.
Mobile Wallet Deposit – Recipients who have signed up for OMM’s mobile wallet can receive money directly into their phones. Your loved ones will receive an 8-digit MoneyGram Reference Number which they can present at any MoneyGram agent location with their I.D. and receive Nepalese rupees.
One of the best ways to receive money in Nepal is specialist transfer services. They provide numerous advantages, such as competitive FX rates and low transfer fees. Therefore, you will save money compared with banks, which have higher overheads.
They also offer faster transfer speeds so that you can send money in emergencies. Balance transfers with services like Wise are a fast way of sending money to Nepal. Also, money transfer services come with extra features such as debit cards, mobile apps, and currency exchange services.
In the same way you provided information to send money to Nepal, the recipients will also need to provide information to claim the money sent. Some of the information the recipient will have to provide includes:
Depending on the amount sent and the frequency, the recipient may have to declare the source and purpose of the remittance.
The unemployment rate in Nepal is 40 percent. As a result, about 1,600 Nepalese men and women leave the country daily for greener pastures, especially in the Gulf States. When they get employment in the destination countries, they immediately begin sending home some money to take care of their families, invest, repay debts, and contribute to social causes.
In the 2015/16 financial year, Nepal’s average annual household consumption stood at $2,850. About 53.8 percent of the budget comprises food items. With 25.2 percent of Nepalese living below the national poverty line, remittances for household subsistence are crucial. Nepal Living Standard Surveys revealed that remittance significantly reduced the headcount poverty rate from 42 percent to 25 percent between 1995 and 2011.
Most Nepalese travel abroad to get better opportunities to help their families back home. The migration process involves a lot of costs that families have to bear to ensure their loved ones resettle overseas. The first round of remittance is mainly used to clear off the debts incurred and other historical credit facilities.
Nepalese abroad are buying land at home, building houses for their families, and renting out. The real estate sector has been growing steadily and has attracted a lot of inflows from the diaspora. Sub-metropolitan cities such as Itahari have recorded rising property prices because of land and housing demand.
A study examining the relationship between remittances and healthcare usage in Nepal found that diaspora remittances increase access to health care. Nepal introduced a nationalized healthcare policy targeting specific districts through social healthcare programs. Remittance income increases the likelihood of Nepalese families visiting doctors and getting higher-priced medical care.
Nepalese abroad invest in productive farming assets to help them create sustainable income for their families. Research done in Chitwan shows increasing participation in agricultural investments for households with migrants compared to those with no migrants.
Nepal has colorful, vibrant festivals, most of them having religious connotations. Nepalese in the diaspora often send money to their family and friends to celebrate such festivals as Dashain and Tihar, Buddha Jayanti, Gai Jatra, and Janai Purnima. Some of the remittances go towards weddings and social activities.
Transferring money to Nepal is not an option for the millions of Nepalese in the diaspora. Many leave their families behind and regularly send money home to supplement the family income. Banks are a traditional source of sending money, but money transfer services gradually seize the opportunity. Some of the reasons for this change of preference include:
Apart from the provider benefits and unique features of the sending platforms, there are certain things you need to consider when sending to Nepal. These include:
Knowing the processes involved when sending money to Nepal is critical. The various providers, their services, the information required to send and receive money, and the things to consider when sending to Nepal are some of the grounds you need to cover.
We understand that narrowing an extensive list of money transfer companies can be tricky to narrow down to just a handful. Therefore, this section outlines the top 3 choices that you can use for sending money to Nepal.
Wise has industry-leading features because of transparency and good FX rates. They consistently match the mid-market rate for currency pairs. You can check out their rates on the homepage to see how they match up with the competition. In addition, they provide low fees for sending money and converting currencies. Therefore, you will be saving money compared with most banks.
Registration takes just a few minutes, and you can send money instantly after you have the login credentials. The user interface is designed with many suggestions to guide the customer along the journey.
Using WorldRemit to send money to Nepal is a fast and easy process. You can register for an account within 5 minutes, and most transfers are sent within 3 minutes. Once you create an account, you will have access to over 150 countries, and Nepal is among them. WorldRemit offers some of the best FX rates on the market, and you can check them on the homepage.
The low fees of WorldRemit is another reason why it is a top choice for sending money to Nepal. You can get away with charges lower than 1% for many transfers. Also, they offer a customer service department that speaks multiple languages.
Sending money to Nepal with Azimo is convenient and will save you money compared with most banks. The variable pricing models ensure that you get charged a fair rate for many transfers. In addition, they offer an excellent service for international money transfers that require a currency conversion.
They have high coverage of over 200 countries and a simple platform. The interactive process is easy to understand, and there is multi-lingual support in up to 8 languages. Also, the mobile app is highly rated, which means you will get a quality experience.
Sending money anywhere else in the world is as easy as sending money to Nepal. If you’re looking to send money to another country, here is the list of the most popular destinations.
April is a trained journalist and the Content Editor for MoneyTransfers.com. She has 10 years experience writing about a diverse range of subjects, from financial services to arts and entertainment. When she’s not writing about global remittances she can be found daydreaming about her next holiday abroad.