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Nepal becomes first country outside India to adopt UPI payments system

Nepal will have its own UPI apps with its banks, like in India. This is NPCI's fourth international partnership after Singapore, Bhutan and UAE.

February 17, 2022 / 05:08 PM IST
Representative image.

Representative image.

NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), the international arm of National Payments Corporation of India said that Nepal has now become the first country outside of India to adopt real-time Unified Payments Interface(UPI) payments.

NIPL has joined hands with payment system operator Gateway Payments Service and Manam Infotech to deploy UPI in Nepal in a bid to bolster interoperable real-time Person to Person (P2P) and merchant payment transactions (P2M) in the country.

Before this, NIPL has also forged partnerships in Singapore and Bhutan for accepting UPI QR-based payments. The partnership with Singapore's PayNow also allows cross-border payments. NIPL had also tied up with UAE's Mashreq Bank to enable Indian travelers to pay for their purchases using UPI.

Whereas, the Nepal partnership will enable the creation of UPI real-time-based payment system in Nepal. Nepal will have their own UPI, own apps, with their own banks like India.

Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NIPL said, "We are delighted to join hands with GPS and Manam Infotech to facilitate the deployment of NPCI’s flagship Unified Payments Interface in Nepal. This partnership will enable consumers within Nepal to transact swiftly using the UPI platform."

Through this collaboration, Nepal will be able to have access to the open interoperable payments system driving immediate payment transfers between bank accounts and merchant payments. Additionally, this will open the doors for real-time cross-border P2P remittances between Nepal and India.

NIPL further said in a statement that Nepal has a population of around 30 million with around 45 percent of the population banked. The country has mobile penetration of over 135 percent with 65 percent of the population using smartphones.

"This provides a bedrock for seamless replication of the digital revolution in India to be replicated in Nepal. Over the next few months, all three companies will work closely together to deploy Unified Payments Interface in Nepal along with all the functionalities and features presently available in India," the statement said.

In 2021, UPI enabled 39 billion financial transactions amounting to commerce worth $940 billion, which is equivalent to approximately 31 percent of India’s GDP.

According to a Jefferies report, UPI is estimated to cross $1 trillion in overall volumes for FY22, making up 50 percent of India's retail digital payments in the current financial year.

NPCI International Payments was incorporated on April 3, 2020, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of NPCI with an aim to internationalise products like RuPay and UPI.
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first published: Feb 17, 2022 05:08 pm