How to open a bank account in Nepal


Even if, for some reason, Nepal’s stunning, snow-capped Himalayan mountaintops don’t get you to visit, there are tons of other reasons to consider a trip to Nepal: the culture, the dumplings, and the warm, friendly locals, just to name a few. But if you’re planning on any length of stay longer than a quick vacation, you might want to solidify your financial situation in the country to make sure you have easy and convenient access to your money. There are many ways to do that, and one of your first options may be to open a bank account in Nepal. But before you decide on a route, you should do some research to make sure you’re choosing the option that is best for you and your specific situation. This guide will help you determine whether opening a Nepalese bank account is a good move for you.

Can I open a bank account as a non-resident of Nepal?

Foreigners have several options for opening bank accounts in Nepal. It’s actually pretty simple and straightforward, making it a great option for expats, frequent visitors or anyone staying longer than a few weeks. Generally, foreigners are limited to opening dollar or euro accounts.¹ Non-residents can get Nepal rupee (NPR) accounts, but not on a tourist visa.¹ You’ll most likely have to present your visa at the time you open the account, and it will deactivate once your visa is expired.¹ If you have your visa extended, you’ll have to take proof of the extension to your bank to ensure your account isn’t shut down.¹

What's the process? How long does it usually take?

Opening a bank account in Nepal requires filling out an application form at the branch.¹ You’ll almost always need a recommendation from a current customer at the bank, though if you don’t have a recommendation, you can still open an account — you’ll just have to convince a bank representative that you’ll be a good and trustworthy customer.¹ You should also use your exact and complete name as shown in your passport to apply, and you’ll need to show proof of your visa.¹ How long it takes to open an account depends on the bank and how long it takes them to verify that you’re a trustworthy potential customer. Once you’re approved, opening the account should happen very quickly.

What documents are necessary for a foreigner to open a bank account?

To open a Nepalese bank account, you’ll likely need: ¹,²

  • A completed application for your chosen bank
  • Your passport
  • Your Nepalese visa

You may be asked to provide:

  • A recommendation from a current customer of the bank
  • A recommendation letter from a past bank you’ve used
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of employment in Nepal

Can I open a bank account abroad? What about at least online?

Because banks in Nepal go to such lengths to vet their customers, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to open an account from abroad or online. Banking in Nepal is more personal than in much of the world, and opening an account there will likely require going to the bank and speaking with a representative in person.

What banking fees are involved?

Almost anywhere in the world, banking comes with fees. Nepal is no different. Here’s what you can expect to pay to have and use an account there.

ATM fees

Most ATMs will charge a fee for use, especially if you use another bank’s ATM. You should also be aware that banks in Nepal dispense cash in NPR, so if your account is in US dollars or euros, you may encounter foreign exchange fees or dynamic currency conversion fees.³ You can avoid some of these fees by always choosing to view transactions in NPR, not in dollars or euros.

Normal bank fees

Monthly or yearly fees for maintaining will vary by bank. As a foreigner with a Nepalese bank account, you’ll likely be required to maintain a minimum balance in your account or face fees.²

Fees for international transfers

Making international transfers is tricky in Nepal, as locals aren’t allowed to transfer money out of the country. NPR isn’t a freely convertible currency, so unless your account is in dollars or euros, you’re likely to run into trouble making international transfers.² If you have a dollar or euro account, you may still need to pay transfer fees to make international transfers. Banks also often mark up their exchange rates to make an extra profit on your transfer, amounting to basically a hidden fee that you have to pay.

With an alternative transfer service like Wise, you can move money all over the world at the exact mid-market exchange rate. There’s just a small, fair transfer fee that you have to pay, usually 0.5-2.5% of the transfer amount.

Which bank should I choose?

Nepal is home to a large number of popular retail banks, so you should have no problem finding one that’s a good fit for you. Some of the largest banks in the country are:

Everest Bank Limited

Everest Bank Limited, based in India, has ATMs and branches spread across South Asia. Some of its useful services include:

  • Current and savings accounts
  • Remittance services
  • Cards
  • Online banking

Nepal Investment Bank

Nepal Investment Bank has 66 branches across Nepal. It offers its customers:

  • A variety of deposit accounts
  • Loans
  • Online banking
  • Remittance services

Sanima Bank

Sanima Bank operates all over Nepal and India, with ATMs across South Asia. It offers:

  • Deposit accounts
  • Loans
  • Cards
  • Online banking


Wise offers borderless multi-currency accounts that allow you to hold, send and receive money in dozens of global currencies, including Nepalese rupee, all at the same time. It’s free to transfer money into your account and sending international payments only costs a small transfer fee. Transfers are always done at the mid-market exchange rate at Wise.

Whether you go with a traditional bank account, or an alternative like a Wise borderless account, knowing your options is the first step in choosing what’s best for you and your money. Safe travels, and good luck in Nepal!


¹ (June 11 2018)

² (June 11 2018)

³ (June 11 2018)

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