NRB’s Guideline on Digital Lending

February 21, 2022

 

On February 11, 2022, Nepal Rastra Bank ("NRB"), the central bank released a Guideline on Lending through Electronic Medium (Digital Lending) 2078 (2022 AD) ("Digital Lending Guideline").

Digital Lending Guideline permits licensed Banks and Financial Institutions ("BFIs") to dispense loans through their digital platforms or through licensed Payment Service Providers ("PSPs") as their agent.

Key aspects of Digital Lending Guideline are discussed in detail below.

Objectives

Digital Lending Guideline has been enacted to facilitate credit needs of borrowers in a fast, efficient and accessible manner eliminating requirement of physical presence.

Digital Lending Guideline also aims to expand the credit reach among general public and also to reduce the cost associated with loan dispensation.

Process of Loan Dispensation

The process for loan dispensation through digital platforms includes:

Data Protection

Digital Lending Guideline mandates that information/data relating to the borrowers obtained during the loan dispensation shall be used for such process only. It shall be the primary responsibility of BFIs/PSPs to ensure that the privacy and confidentiality of borrowers are properly maintained.

Limit on Digital Lending and Maturity Period

In case of an individual who maintains deposits on a periodic basis with in a bank, the maximum loan amount shall be NPR 500,000 (approx. US$ 4,200) whereas in case of other individuals the maximum loan amount shall be NPR 200,000 (approx. US$ 1,700).

Maturity period of the loan shall be three years. Loan may be disbursed either cumulatively or in installment.

Responsibility of BFIs during Digital Lending

Provision Relating to Appointment of Payment Service Provider as an Agent

Digital Lending Guideline permits BFIs to appoint licensed PSPs as their agents. An agreement must be executed between BFIs and PSPs in this regard.

It shall be the responsibility of PSPs to inform borrowers about the BFIs from which they are borrowing loans.

Conclusion

Enactment of Digital Lending Guideline is a welcome move from NRB. This will ensure credit reach to a large number of Nepali populations who are currently out of reach from BFIs.

Nepali version of the Notice may be obtained by clicking here.

 

To  download a formal PDF version of this client-briefing by clicking here.