In 2017, eSewa received innovation fund from Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA). The aim of this program was to improve the usability of digital wallets, and expand online payment services as well as operations in the eastern parts of Nepal. Making use of this innovation fund, eSewa was able to enroll around 5,000 new agents, and connect around 2 million people to digital financial services including 500,000 women. The project had a positive impact in eastern parts of Nepal like Khotang and Okhaldhunga. In addition to people gaining access to secured and affordable digital financial services, many of the agents have been able to successfully expand their business and gain an additional source of income.
Overall, the program was a huge success and thus to celebrate the achievements and appreciate the support from GSM Association, eSewa organized an event at Hotel Annapurna on 21st August 2019. The event started off with eSewa’s President Mr. Asgar Ali welcoming all of the guests representing Nepal Rastra Bank, GSMA, UKAID Sakchyam-Access to Finance, and Department of International Development (DFID).
Then, Mr. Roshan Lamichanne, COO of eSewa took over the floor presenting program highlights, emphasizing how the program has enabled eSewa to learn about small businesses and how they function in rural areas of the country. His presentation was followed by video of the stories of agents and SMEs who have had a positive impact from the program. Then, Martin Karanja, Market Engagement Director of GSMA shared how the program exceeded their initial expectations. Similarly, Lisa Honan, Head of office, DFID Nepal shared her experience and expressed that DFID felt proud to have funded this program as the increasing use of mobile money is great for economic growth. Lastly, Mr. Subhas Sapkota, CEO of eSewa concluded the event by offering a vote of thanks.