Start a Remittance Business from the US to Nepal
Nepal, a landlocked country in South Asia, is one of the biggest receivers of remittance. Nepal has population of over 30 million and as of 2021 its GDP was 36.29 billion USD. The World Bank has projected it to grow by 5.8 per cent for the fiscal year 2022/23.
A significant chunk of the population of Nepal has migrated out of the country in search of opportunities not afforded to them in the country. While most Nepalis migrate to countries in the Arabian Peninsula like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but there is also a significant number living in the west. In the US alone there are over 198,000, it’s hard to say how many are there now but definitely, in past few years migration has exploded.
These Nepalis living outside the country subsequently send money back to their origin country mostly to provide for their families and lift them out of poverty in most cases. Then there are those migrants that have settled in the foreign country and raised their income profile over time and send money back home to repay their families or even invest in land, property, and other financial assets.
State of Remittance in Nepal
Remittance is the backbone of Nepal’s economy. In FY 2021-2022, the size of remittance was around $9.2 bn. In the first four months of FY 2022-2023 alone, remittance inflow was 2.93 billion. Remittance makes up more than 24% of the total GDP of the country. It is the 19th largest receiver of remittances in the world.
In a country that leans quite significantly on remittance, it is crucial that the cost of transferring money is kept low. According to World Bank, the global average cost of sending $200 was 6 percent in 2022, twice the SDG target of 3%. Traditional brick-and-mortar money transfer are costlier and slower, whereas digital remittance companies are said to be less expensive.
Remittance shows no signs of slowing in the upcoming years, even with the rest of the world teetering on the brink of recession. Inevitably there are
Local Remittance Players:
There are several different ways of starting a remittance business. Below are some Nepali household names that provide digital money transfer services to the Nepali diaspora in the US are :
Hamro Patro: Started off as an online Nepali calendar app designed for the Nepali diaspora to keep track of important dates, events, horoscopes and news back home, it later went on to add remittance as an additional service to its already existing sizeable market. The app boasts of 10 million downloads in google play store alone.
Prabhu Remit: Prabhu Remit is another popular money transfer service providing competitive exchange rates and low service charges. It has 5000+ agents and banks providing cash payment services and hundreds of customer help desk in Kathmandu valley alone.
IME Remit: A subsidiary of IME group, IME Remit is the largest and most prominent remittance company in Nepal, operating in over 30 countries. IME Pay is its digital wallet service for domestic users to receive money from almost 200 countries and send anywhere within Nepal. With almost 60% of Nepal’s population unbanked the potential for IME pay to provide financial inclusion is huge.
Thamel Remit: The company specialises in US to Nepal remittance. It offers higher exchange rates and lower remittance fees compared to other remittance services. The process of transferring money is pretty simple and straightforward and its users use their services to investments, purchase of property or simply to send money back home.
Since the remittance market is huge, there are international players
Remitly: An MSB registered and regulated in the US, serves over 3 million customers world over. In Nepal has partnered with several banks, local nepalese money transfer companies and wallets like e-sewa. It helps convert GBP, USD and EUR into NPR. Money transfers are instant and quick in comparison to other international players.
Wise: UK based Fintech company that offers money transfer from the US to 70+ countries. Wise is known for its low charges and transparent fee structure, and is suitable for sending small amount payments, although it offers only bank to bank or bank to card transactions.
World Remit: Another popular international money transfer app that supports many countries and payout options, including mobile wallets. In Nepal users can receive money through banks, cash-pickup, mobile money through e-sewa and khalti , and also airtime top-up through Ncell.
Xoom : Xoom is a global money transfer service provided by PayPal. It offers payout in Nepal through all major banks and cash pickup. Recently Xoom introduced debit card deposit allowing ‘real-time’ money transfers to friends and family across the border.
Start US to Nepal Remittance with Machnet.
Remittance is a serious business, so the more you understand the industry, higher the chances of succeeding. It’s always good to be prepared before jumping into the business.
Machnet is a Remittance-as-a-Service (RaaS) provider that enables companies to kickstart their US-to-Nepal money transfer business and enter the remittance industry. With Machnet’s RaaS API Program companies can embed money transfer capabities into their products and services. or shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org