🇳🇵 Monzo in Nepal

Here is a post from Justin

please add your experience with cards and cash in Nepal

Other previous feedback on travel in this region

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And a post from Tim…

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Currently living in Kathmandu for two months. A few pointers which may be helpful to future travellers to this awesome country.

  1. You can use your Monzo card at the vast majority of ATMs in Kathmandu - they all advertise which cards they accept outside so a quick glance for the MasterCard logo is all that is required.
  2. ATMs are very common in touristy areas (e.g. every street corner in Thamel) and less common as you go further out and outside of major cities.
  3. All the ATMs are magstripe ATMs. This means your card will be declined unless you turn on magstripe withdrawals in the app.
  4. ATMs charge a flat fee for international withdrawals which ranges from 500-750 rupees ($5-7). Therefore, withdrawing larger amounts less often is more cost-effective.
  5. The limit for cash withdrawals depends on the bank but it is often between 25,000-35,000 rupees ($230-$330)
  6. Few establishments (cafes, restaurants etc.) accept card payments so carrying cash with you at all times is highly recommended.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to get in touch.


Thanks. Arrived in Nepal earlier today, and had trouble withdrawing cash. The main difficulty when you arrive in a new country is that you don’t always have wifi before you firstbwish to withdraw cash - which means it’s difficult to enable magstripe, so I had to use another card instead. With Vodafone charging £3 per MB, I couldn’t risk switching on roaming at the airport, in case my phone started downloading emails and all kinds of other data.

It would be very handy if Monzo could consider automatically enabling magstripe when a customer is first detected in a “magstripe country” - at least for a grace period of a few hours Is this something that could be considered?


Hi Justin,

If you are there for long, I would highly recommend getting an Ncell sim - you can pick them up anywhere where you see the Ncell logo (practically every two steps in Thamel, Kathmandu) and data is very cheap (off the top of my head, you can get 1gb for 250 rupees ≈ $2.4).

Hope the rest of your trip is good


@EdKandel, thanks a lot for the suggestion. I did consider getting one, but this is sadly only a stop over for a few days between Tibet and India - otherwise I’d definitely be getting a local SIM.

Needed to make another cash withdrawal, and after carefully coordinating the magstripe enablement with my visit to the ATM, was able to withdraw cash. Worth mentioning that some ATMs take a full couple of minutes before acknowledging that your:monzo: card has been inserted. I spent a tense few moments imagining my card had been eaten, before I was finally able to proceed with the withdrawal


I spent 2 months in Nepal from mid May until mid July and would like to share my experience using Monzo:

  • As previous users have noted, most banks appear to charge a fee per withdrawal of NRS 500+ except for PRABHU bank which was free of charge at the time of my trip no matter what the withdrawal amount was and found them quite reliable. You can easily locate one of their ATMs using Google Maps, they have lots of them in Kathmandu valley and some in Pokhara too.
  • Magstripe had to be enabled for all transactions.
  • I want to share a bad experience I had with Nepal Bank Limited (NBL) which I ask everyone to avoid. I withdrew NRS 10000 from one of their ATMs and due to a communication failure, did not receive my money but still got charged for it on my Monzo account. When I went to file a complaint in their Kathmandu branch, I found their customer service to be very ineffective asking me to go to different offices in the bank. They told me that I had to contact SCT (which they use to carry out MasterCard based transactions) who kept saying that they hadn’t heard from NBL regarding returning the money who despite my repeated request were reluctant to pass on the message over a period of 3-4 weeks. They did eventually tell me and SCT that it was indeed their fault but still not never returned the money. I eventually got the money back after 8 weeks from Monzo but found the whole process rather frustrating. I thank the Monzo staff for doing the best that they could and clearly explaining to me what I should expect throughout the process.

Hi everyone, just to let you know if you’re thinking of travelling to Nepal with your Monzo card, just so you know we found it wasn’t accepted anywhere

That’s a shame! Did you find any reasons for this? MasterCard (and Visa) are usually accepted? And did this include Kathmandu and Pokhara? I’m surprised to hear this because tourism is such an important part of Nepal’s economy.

Hi, the card didnt work in any ATM machine and very few banks accepted it.

strange - this user had few problems

however the CA cards don’t support mag stripe at the moment - you don’t mention whether you had magstripe enabled on your prepaid (?) card or whether it was a CA card ? :slight_smile:

My card has the mag stripe on the back but I’m not sure what you mean by a CA card ? I just assumed the card would work like any other debit / credit card.

I’ve found how you enable mag stripe withdrawals from the post you added, ie via the app !!


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My current account debit card (CA card) has “debit” on the front face, whereas my prepaid card doesnt have “debit” on the front face
both cards have a magnetic strip on the back - To enable Magstripe - if yours is a prepaid card - on iPhone (mine) you go to “card” - " settings" then “magstripe ATMs” toggle switch to turn on for 24 hours (wifi needed presumably) it will automatically turn off after 24 hours I think :slight_smile:

I would imagine its similar steps on android

to tell whether you’re on pre paid or Current Account card - they are different apps on your phone if you haven’t downloaded a current account app after downloading the prepaid app you don’t have a current account card

Most ATMs providers charge a fee for making withdrawals which ranges from about £2.50 to £3.50

I have been to Kathmandu in Nepal twice this year (March and May 2018). So far, my Monzo card is working without problem in supermarkets like Bhatbhateni and MegaMart.