Nepal is still largely a cash-based country. But this is gradually changing with the advent of technology and several digital payment platforms. More than 14mn Nepalis use mobile banking platforms, according to a report published by the Nepal Rastra Bank in June of 2021. It was a 26 percent increase within one year.
Digipay is one of the emerging digital wallet and an e-commerce application that aims to gain a large and wide client base in the coming years. The app allows you to do everything a mobile banking app does, from online transactions to utility bill payment, while also allowing you to shop online. But it has one unique and innovative feature that other digital payment apps do not. It also allows cash payments while giving amazing cashback offers, and it is the first in the world to do so. Priyanjali Karn of ApEx talked to Diwakar Pandey, chairman of Digipay, to learn about the Digipay ecosystem and the Digipay franchise.
How is Digipay transaction process different from other digital wallets?
Digipay includes three mediums of pricing. The first one is the Nepal Rastra Bank cash, which we already use. Then there is ‘gold cash’, also known as loyalty points. Once you download the app, it automatically rewards you with a 100 gold cash, or loyalty points. The value of loyalty points vary with every merchant.
As a Digipay client, you can purchase items from stores that accept digipay in normal cash, gold cash, and even a combination of the two cash, that is also the third medium of pricing. The application shows all the stores that accept Digipay in the Digipay map.
In the market, a seller is looking for profit in every sale, and a buyer is looking for a benefit in every purchase. This app gives them just that.
For example, let's say Arjun wants to make a purchase using digipay. Once he downloads the application, he gets a 100 gold cash reward. Once he loads normal cash in the digital wallet, now he can purchase an item using either or both types of cash. Digipay merchants put out their products and their price in both types of cash, for instance, a purse being sold by a particular merchant may cost Rs 250 or 25 gold cash or it may cost Rs 150 and 10 gold cash. For this merchant’s product, the value of one gold cash is equivalent to Rs 10.
Now Arjun has a nice offer that helps him save a certain amount and benefit from the gold cash. With the products, merchants also offer a certain number of gold cash as cash back when you make a purchase. For instance, with the purse, Arjun receives two gold cash as cashback.
Where does the gold cash come from, for a digipay merchant and also for a client?
In case of a Digipay merchant, once you sign up to sell your products through the app, you have to give a certain percentage of service charge to the Digipay system, from where the gold cash is acquired. Therefore, the system is mining gold cash everytime there's a transaction between a client and a merchant.
Being a digital payment platform, how does it accept cash?
Stores that accept Digipay also accept cash. Arjun can make a payment either by paying online through the amount he has in his digital wallet. Or, he can simply pay cash and ask the cashier to put it into his account records. Now even if he paid physical cash, he still gets the gold cash as a reward, that he can utilize in future payments in the Digipay network. Thus, creating a Digipay ecosystem.
How does this help digital payment?
It is designed in such a way that even clients who aren’t familiar with digital transactions can make Digipay payments and benefit from the loyalty points. It is a gradual process of educating the remaining population with the growing technology in a way that they understand.
Anyone can use Digipay, even someone who doesn't own a phone can make a Digipay cash purchase from a family member's account, and they gain loyalty points.
What are the aims of Digipay?
Nepal is a third-world country, but technology-wise, we aren’t less than the first-world countries. True, we are still dependent on cash and cards, even when almost every Nepalis have a smart phone in their hands.
With the Digipay franchise, also called local business partnership, we are trying to reach every phone and access more clients and merchants who can benefit from the application. It is one of the most offer-oriented digital payment platforms that cater for that benefit.
At present, one franchise is making a minimum of Rs 400,000 to Rs 500,000 a month with Digipay. We aim to make our service reachable to people from all around the country by acquiring merchants and spreading the business.