Online shopping in Nepal has increased significantly in the recent 5-7 years. Sites like Hamrobazaar (2005), Sastodeals (2011), and Daraz (2016) paved the way for e-commerce. They are the base and foundation for online business now. With time, many other sites emerged and now e-commerce sites swarm the internet. Online business is booming and expanding daily. The number of consumers for such sites has also increased and shopping has got much easier over time.
One can shop from the comfort of their home and receive the goods accordingly. Previously there were only Cash-On-Delivery (COD) services as payment methods. It was due to the slow-moving and often restrictive government regulations that held it down. So most of the retailers online would only offer COD as a means of payment. We have come a long way from paying with cash to digital payments.
Today, Nepali consumers on the internet have access to a range of digital payment options. Some methods include online banking, mobile banking, e-wallets, and credit/debit cards. As a result, digital payments have seen significant growth among the younger generations as they are tech-savvy. Older generations are also slowly but progressively doing online transactions as a form of payment.
Why prefer digital payment over cash online?
The answer is convenience!!! Yes, convenience is the top priority to any consumer which makes it easily accessible. With just a few clicks, consumers can complete their purchase from the office, home, or anywhere. This factor has led to an increase in digital payments and transactions. Digital payment also offers greater security and transparency that reduces risks of fraud and theft. Carrying a huge sum of money with you all around the place is a risk that can be negated by using digital payments.
Challenges involved with digital payment:
Shifting from cash to digital comes with its own challenges that we must overcome. Lack of infrastructure is the most significant barrier to digital payments. The thing is everyone has got a smartphone but not all have got bank accounts or cards. Another one is familiarity with digital payments. Younger generations need no guidance as they can figure it out. Issues start with the older generations as they are non-technical, making it ever so confusing for them. It can get challenging to use them or even understand their formalities.
How to deal with the challenges?
Nepal must invest in developing infrastructures and promote financial education for people to encourage using digital payments. In order to foster an atmosphere of security and confidence for digital payments, the public and commercial sectors must collaborate. Online shopping is the next great business in the current times. The acceptance of digital payments can also improve their popularity and usage by encouraging more businesses to do so through merchant education and incentives.