After ruling the online payment industry for almost 7 years since its inception in 2010, eSewa is finally seeing some competitors in the market in the form of new payment gateways, especially the upcoming brand of Khalti. eSewa has been able to gain a huge audience in its early years of operation throughout Nepal as the rate of internet usage surged drastically in the past decade.
Using the miraculous platform provided by the internet, eSewa came up with the idea of making payments from the comfort of one’s home or office without having to visit the physical cash counters where queuing up still takes a long time, more than half a day sometimes.
eSewa was introduced as the first online payment gateway in Nepal and has been a brand to reckon with. It has been able to extend its reach to almost all kinds of consumer payments like the internet or mobile top-ups and recharges, utility bills, travel and tour bookings, cinema tickets, school and college fees, and such.
Covering all 75 districts in the country with up to 5 lakhs registered users and more than 15,000 merchants along with 44 banking and financial institutions, eSewa is the first online payment gateway ever to be formally recognized by the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the central bank of Nepal. However, there have been some complaints regarding the user interface and running of the eSewa website and app.
The current layout of the eSewa website has a very user-friendly interface in the sense that the feature tabs are more organized and visible on the website. All the features are placed within the sight of the users, which makes access to the payment gateway easier. The offers available on certain payment gateways such as cashback on mobile top-ups of various telecommunications like NTC and Ncell are also projected upfront.
The app of eSewa has been updated for offline use as well, where users can access the basic features using SMS when there is no internet. The advanced features, similar to those available on the website, however, are accessible only by logging into the system on the newer version of the app when there is an internet connection. This makes the use of eSewa easier as users can now have access to the facilities of the website anytime anywhere in their smartphones as long as they are connected to the internet.
Despite the new cleaner user interface and updated app that now packs advanced website-like features, there are some inconsistencies in the way those features function. The payment systems and ticketing systems do not load properly at times when a user tries to access the feature. But this is a common issue that most portals encounter during their transition from an older interface to a newer one. At eSewa, it is certainly being worked out as evidenced by daily improvements in the website and app.
When the transition is complete and all features are properly accessible and consistently functional, that could very well mean the end of all the internal problems at eSewa as well as the solution to all the customer complaints. It could also be the moment when eSewa would emerge as the best online payment gateway of Nepal in terms of accessibility, usability, and functionality. eSewa already has a strong brand recognition among its massive consumer base; all it needs now is to fix those glitches that sometimes ruin the web and app user experience.