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Apr 17, 2021

From now & onward, your foreign payment for facebook boosting, shopping from amazon, subscription for Netflix, Amazon, etc. or any kinds of an online purchase from foreign will be far easy as the central bank of Nepal- NRB has now permitted banks to issue the prepaid dollar card in Nepal for the sum up to USD 500.

Every year huge sums of money are flowing from Nepal illegally for online shopping of goods & services since till now it is illegal to make payments in foreign currency in Nepal other than for business purposes.  To regulate these sums, the central bank of Nepal NRB has permitted via its circular no. 10/2077-78 dated 21 March 2021 to issue the prepaid card for the sum up to USD 500.

NRB has used the term “Prepaid Card” and not the “Prepaid Dollar Card” but since the card is in USD denomination, it is commonly known as a prepaid dollar card.

Here, we have summarized all the important aspects that you need to know about the prepaid dollar card.

What is a prepaid dollar card in Nepal?

Prepaid Dollar Card is like an ordinary debit card issued by the A-class commercial banks and B-class development banks which can be used to make payments in convertible foreign currency equivalent to USD 500 for online shopping of goods & services.

How can I get it?

For this, you must have updated your KYC details with banks and you must have a PAN to apply for the card.

You can get the card from your bank after a little documentation and after the payment of fees. Currently, banks are charging Rs. 500- 1000 for issuing the card. The fee may vary from bank to bank.

Can I use this card only for making payments?

No, you can also receive convertible foreign currency in your prepaid dollar card for the sum up to USD 5000 in a year, for rendering services in foreign countries through any online platform. However, any amount credited to your dollar card exceeding the limit of USD 5000 shall immediately be deposited into your saving or foreign currency account.

Who can issue the prepaid dollar card?

As per the NRB circular, for now, only A-class commercial banks and B-class development banks can issue prepaid dollar card.

What is the monetary limit of the dollar card?

For making payment against the online purchase of goods or services, it is USD 500 &

for receiving the sum against the export of service via an online platform, it is USD 5000

The limit of USD 500 is to be calculated from the date on which the card is activated by the banks.

Is there any restriction/prohibition in using the card?

You must keep in mind the following restrictions/prohibitions while using the card.

The following payment can’t be made via the card for 

  • Purchase of goods or services other than an online platform
  • Purchase of capital goods or any kind of property
  • Purchase of prohibited goods or services
  • Export of services other than an online platform
  • Export of goods
  • Sales of prohibited goods or services

In addition to the above, the following are also prohibited :

  • withdrawing money from ATMs and POS machines by using the card
  • holding more than one prepaid dollar card at the same time.

How To Cancel Credit Card?

You can request your bank to surrender the card and while surrendering the card an amount equivalent to the foreign currency balance available at your card will be converted by the prevailing exchange rate and the sum will be credited to your bank accounts. 

Can banks ask for bills or other documents of goods or services purchased while affecting the payments via dollar card?

Yes, as per the above circulars bank can ask so and once you are asked by the bank, you have to submit the same.