Friday, 15 November, 2019
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OPINION

Online Payment



Binaya Ghimire

If you shop online from international sites or work online, you might have noticed that PayPal is the most preferred payment gateway. PayPal is used by millions of people and thousands of businesses the world over. If you check PayPal website, you will see that Nepal is listed as supported country. However, you cannot receive funds on the PayPal account you create from Nepal. PayPal accounts in Nepal are sent only.
Technically speaking, it is also impossible to send funds via Nepal based PayPal accounts. In order to send funds, you need to either link your Credit/Debit cards or have funds in your account. Since Debit/Credit cards from Nepali banks do not allow international transaction, PayPal does not accept Credit/Debit cards from Nepal. Likewise, you cannot receive funds on your Nepal based PayPal, therefore, you will never have balance in your account. This brings to a conclusion that PayPal is useless in Nepal.
When I started working online, it was almost compulsory for me to have a PayPal account. However, PayPal did not work here. Therefore, I wrote to PayPal customer support. The customer support said that the National Bank in Nepal is not allowing PayPal to do transaction in Nepal. I tried to verify this unofficially and discovered that Nepal Rastra Bank tries to track every international transaction. Since it is almost impossible to track PayPal transaction, Nepal Rastra Bank is now allowing PayPal to work in Nepal.
Interestingly, PayPal customer support gave me a solution. She said: “I can create account based on the country where PayPal is accepted and do PayPal transaction without any problem.” Therefore, I created PayPal account based in the US and started receiving and sending funds via PayPal. I could of course send or receive funds, however, I could not withdraw the funds and use for everyday needs.
As they say, every problem has a solution, I took a help from a friend in the US. I started sending my PayPal funds to my friend’s PayPal account and then she sent me the money via Western Union. This arrangement worked for years until one day PayPal froze my account for verification issue.
If you check online, you will see a lot of people suggest that you can use Payoneer, another popular international payment gateway, to withdraw PayPal funds. You can of course use Payoneer to receive funds from many online marketplaces like Amazon, however, you cannot transfer PayPal funds to Payoneer account. Officially, Payoneer is not accepted by PayPal.
A lot of people offer PayPal solution in Nepal. They say that they will not only help you to create a verified PayPal account but also an account that allows you send, receive and withdraw the balance to your bank. I don’t know how they are doing this.
I think it is high time Nepal Rastra Bank review this policy regarding international transaction. There are a lot of people working online, however, they are having difficulty in receiving payment from foreign companies and clients. Perhaps, Nepal can adopt Indian model of PayPal transaction. In India, you can receive and send payment via PayPal.
However, when you receive money via PayPal it does not sit in your PayPal account, rather automatically transferred to the bank account you have linked to you account. When you are sending funds, you will be sending directly from the linked bank account. 

How do you feel after reading this news?