The move will help modernise Nepal's digital payment infrastructure

In a noteworthy development, Nepal is set to become the first country to adopt India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system. This will play a key role in transforming the neighboring country’s digital economy, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said on Thursday.

NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), the international arm of NPCI, has joined hands with Gateway Payments Service (GPS) and Manam Infotech to provide services in Nepal.

GPS is the authorized payment system operator in Nepal and Manam Infotech will deploy the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in that country.

The collaboration will serve the larger digital public interest in Nepal and promote interoperable real-time person-to-person (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions in the neighboring country, NPCI said in a statement.

“Nepal will be the first country outside India to have adopted UPI as a payment platform driving the digitization of cash transactions and as the central bank of the Government of Nepal and Nepal Rastra Bank, taking forward the vision and objectives.”

This collaboration will enable last-mile consumers in Nepal to take advantage of an open interoperable payment system driving instant payment transfers between bank accounts and merchant payments in real time.

NPCI said it will also enable a way forward for real-time cross-border P2P remittances between Nepal and India.

Rajesh Prasad Manandhar, CEO, GPS, said that the UPI service has made a significant positive impact in India in terms of digital payments transformation of the country. “We are hopeful that UPI in Nepal will play a vital role in transforming the country’s digital economy and building a less cash-less society,” he said.

In 2021, UPI enabled 3,900 crore financial transactions worth USD 940 billion, which is equivalent to about 31% of India’s GDP.

“At NIPL, we are committed to transform payments by taking our robust payment solutions to global markets and collaborating with local payment system operators. We are confident that this initiative will enhance NIPL’s technological capabilities and our unique offerings globally. Will stand as a testament to the vision,” NIPL CEO Ritesh Shukla said in the statement.

NPCI said that UPI’s real-time payment infrastructure will help catalyze the process of financial inclusion in Nepal and also create more opportunities for businesses. It will help in modernizing the digital payment infrastructure of Nepal and facilitate digital payments to the citizens of Nepal.

Naga Babu Ramineni, Director, Manam said, “Manam has always been a part of major digital transformation in different regions of the world, we are confident that this partnership will remove all barriers to Nepal and cross-border payment transformation and transform the regional economy.”

UPI is one of the most successful Real-Time Payment (RTP) systems globally, providing simplicity, security and security in P2P and P2M transactions in India.

Nepal has a population of about 30 million (3 crore) with around 45% banked. Mobile penetration of over 135% with 65% of the population using smartphones provides a bedrock for seamless replication of the digital revolution in India to be replicated in Nepal, NPCI said.

NCPI further stated that NIPL, an internationally focused subsidiary of NPCI, seeks to intensify collaboration with foreign partners in the areas of UPI, such as deployment, cross-border remittances, acceptance, use of indigenously developed technologies in digital payments.