Today, Nepal starts operating electronic clearing of checks with the live-run of ProgressSoft's Electronic Image-based Check Clearing Solution across the country. Following the awarding of this nationwide project by Nepal's Central Bank (Nepal Rastra Bank) to ProgressSoft last year, the solution has been deployed at Nepal Clearing House Ltd (NCHL) and rolled out to 120 banks and financial institutions, scattered across the country's area of 147,181 sq km.
"Check clearing in Nepal is still handled manually", explained Mr. Neleesh Pradhan, CEO of Nepal Clearing House Ltd (NCHL), when asked about the check clearing situation in Nepal before the live-run of the new system. "Nepal Rastra Bank handles physical clearing of checks, which requires a long clearing cycle that ranges from a couple of days to up to two weeks for outstation checks." The time-consuming process is a hassle to customers as they have to wait for long periods of time for transactions to materialize.
"Nepal is one of the South Asian countries that still follows a manual clearing process. Adopting an electronic check clearing system aligns with the initiatives of the Central Bank and other Banks/ Financial Institutions in Nepal to implement advance national payment and settlement systems", clarified Mr. Pradhan, "one of the important parts of this initiative is the electronic check clearing system".
ProgressSoft's solution enables checks to be transmitted electronically and promptly cleared so that beneficiaries can access their funds on the same day of deposit.
Mr. Pradhan affirmed that the benefits of the electronic medium for check clearance will be directly felt by the end customers, as well as banks and the economy as a whole; "customers will get their cash on the same day, or even within two hours, from the time of depositing their checks". Meanwhile, "Banks will achieve customer satisfaction due to faster clearing cycle, while enjoying lower operational costs, improved efficiency, and lower risks associated with check payments."
"The new system will help increase acceptability of checks by the customers and hence will reduce the usage of cash in the market. This will have a positive impact in the growth of the formal economy," added Mr. Pradhan.
"With this project, we managed to extend ProgressSoft's success stories to the other end of the world, reaching as far as Southern Asia and as high as the Himalayan Mountains. It's a pleasure for us to enact such technology-driven transformation and bring the Nepali banking body to a new paradigm of real-time payments", expressed Mr. Michael Wakileh, ProgressSoft. Electronic Check Clearing in Nepal represents the 7th countrywide project involving ProgressSoft's solution. "We are satisfied with ProgressSoft's electronic check clearing solution and their implementation team. ProgressSoft along with the NCHL's team concluded a smooth implementation and managed to stay on track despite of the tight project plan. The team worked quite hard to get this done in the best manner", expressed Mr. Pradhan.