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KATHMANDU, Oct 1: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has launched Nepal Financial Inclusion Portal to track progress of financial inclusion across the country.

The portal -- www.emap.nrb.org.np -- was launched by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) with the support of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). It aims at providing real time information and data to map out a realistic picture of the financial access and the usage.

Commercial banks, development banks, finance companies, non-bank payment service providers and microfinance institutions can report their data like deposit and credit mobilization, registered accounts and branch networks, among others, on the portal, according to the NRB.

The portal also measures financial inclusion as well as generates analytical reports.

Launching the portal, NRB Governor Chiranjibi Nepal said that the availability of data will help the government and the central bank for policy intervention, targeting rural areas. He said that that the portal will provide information and data from remote parts of the country where the government and regulators can't reach immediately. “It is very important for policymakers as they can develop policies and financial strategies by visiting this portal,” Nepal said.

Delivering his keynote address, Governor Nepal said that the portal will help both the government and the central bank for the development of financial infrastructure toward increasing people's access to financial services which is a must for economic growth of the country.

Ayshanie Medagangoda-Labe, deputy country director of United Nations Development Program (UNDP), said that the lack of literacy, distance that people have to travel, lack of saving and trust in banking or financial institution have become barriers for financial inclusion and access. She added that the initiative to leverage technology and data for increasing financial access will also help Nepal in achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Also speaking at the program, Francois Coupienne of UNCDF said that the data offers tremendous opportunities for policy makers as well as financial service providers. “There is a huge gap between different needs and aspirations of each individual, and the 'one size fits all' approach of the financial services providers. Innovation, technology and data will play a key role in filing this gap,” he added.

Source: Republica

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