NRB permits banks to take service charge for inter-bank ATM users on conditions

Published On: January 7, 2021 08:20 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 7: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has permitted banks to take the service charge from people for using one bank’s ATM card to withdraw money from another bank’s ATM.

Revising the Unified Directive on Thursday, the central bank has asked the banks and financial institutions (BFIs) to waive the fee completely up to two such transactions per month. However, the BFIs can charge their customers a maximum of Rs 20 on each additional transaction thereafter. The new provision will come into effect from January 14.

Since the government imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 24 last year, the NRB has made the BFIs waive the extra charge on inter-bank ATM transactions so as to enable people to withdraw money from their nearest vending machines.

The BFIs have been pushing the regulator to allow them to take the service charge from ATM users, saying that they could not offer the ATM operation free of cost. In July, a number of banks had even started taking the service charge from their customers, but the NRB through its monetary policy directed the banks to waive the fees until the impact of the COVID-19 crisis exists.

In the new provision, the BFIs have to pre-inform their customers about the service charges which they take for providing electronic services such as internet banking, mobile banking and SMS banking. The BFIs have also been asked to install a system that allows their customers to retrieve the username and password themselves on these electronic banking services if in case the users forget the ID code.  

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