India-Nepal Digital Payments Take a Leap: Gateway Expected in February 2024

Kathmandu: Buckle up, travelers and business owners! The much-anticipated digital payment gateway between India and Nepal is set to launch its first phase by the end of February 2024. Indian Ambassador Naveen Srivastava announced the exciting news on Friday, bringing a wave of optimism for cross-border transactions.

Ambassador Srivastava highlighted the booming fintech revolution in India, particularly the success of UPI (Unified Payments Interface), which positions India as a global leader in digital payments. He envisions this revolution as a key driver for enhanced collaboration between India and Nepal.

Ambassador Srivastava highlighted the booming fintech revolution in India, particularly the success of UPI (Unified Payments Interface), which positions India as a global leader in digital payments. He envisions this revolution as a key driver for enhanced collaboration between India and Nepal.

The partnership isn't entirely new. Last year, the RuPay card was introduced in Nepal, paving the way for further integration. This year, during Nepali PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal's visit to India, an MoU was signed between NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) and NCHL (Nepal Clearing House Limited) to jumpstart the digital cross-border payment system.

The Ambassador expressed confidence that the NPCI-NCHL payment system will be operational by February 2024, enabling instant person-to-person cross-border payments. This opens doors for seamless transactions between individuals, businesses, and tourists alike.

Nepal's Finance Minister, Prakash Sharan Mahat, echoed the importance of cross-border payments with India and called for increased regional cooperation in South Asia. He emphasized how utilizing technology and financial services can benefit both nations by reducing transaction costs and boosting trade.

Nepal has been actively building its digital payment infrastructure. NCHL, designated by the government, plays a crucial role with a 10% investment from the central bank and 90% from other commercial banks. Additionally, UPI is already being deployed in Nepal through collaborations between NPCI and local companies.

Maha Prasad Adhikari, Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), highlighted the ongoing efforts to integrate the payment systems of both countries. He expressed optimism about the potential of simplified small-value digital payments and the growing interest in expanding this system beyond Nepal.

The new gateway will be a boon for Indian tourists visiting Nepal, where higher-denominated Indian currency is no longer accepted. With digital payments, they can easily pay for goods and services without worrying about currency exchange.

The system will also facilitate larger digital transactions and boost interoperable real-time P2P and P2M transactions. This can significantly enhance the digital economy of both nations.

India's former Ambassador to Nepal, Manjeev Singh Puri, believes Indian fintech companies can play a crucial role in advancing digital payments between the two countries. He encourages Nepali financial institutions to leverage the expertise of Indian companies in data analytics, fintech solutions, and the entire digital ecosystem.

The launch of the India-Nepal digital payment gateway marks a significant milestone in the financial landscape of both countries. It promises to simplify transactions, boost trade, and pave the way for a more interconnected and prosperous future. As February 2024 approaches, excitement is in the air, and the potential benefits for individuals and businesses alike are undeniable.

IDN
IDN  

Related Articles

Next Story