Nepal to become the first country to adopt India’s UPI system

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has announced that Nepal will be the first country to introduce India’s UPI system, which will play an important role in revolutionizing the neighboring country’s digital economy.

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NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), the international division of NPCI, has partnered with Gateway Payments Service (GPS) and Manam Infotech to offer the services in Nepal. Manam Infotech will implement the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) in Nepal, where GPS is the authorized payment system operator.

“We are delighted to partner with GPS and Manam Infotech to facilitate the deployment of NPCI’s flagship UPI in Nepal,” said Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NIPL when announcing the partnership. “At NIPL, we are committed to transforming payments by bringing our robust payment solutions to global markets and collaborating with local payment system operators.”

As an international division of NPCI, NIPL seeks to foster collaboration with its overseas counterparts in areas of UPI, including deployment, cross-border funds transfer, acceptance and adoption of digital payment technology locally developed.

Nepal will be the first country outside India to adopt UPI as a payment platform, eventually driving the digitalization of cash transactions and fulfilling the goals of the Nepalese government and Nepal Rastra Bank as a central bank, said the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The collaboration will facilitate the greatest digital public good in Nepal by boosting interconnected real-time person-to-person (P2P) transactions, including person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions in the neighboring country, he added. It will also pave the way for real-time cross-border person-to-person (P2P) payments between the Himalayan country and India.

UPI is one of the world’s most popular and successful real-time payment (RTP) systems that provides ease, safety and security to P2P and person-to-person (P2M) transactions in India. UPI initiated 39 billion financial transactions totaling $940 billion in business, nearly 31% of India’s GDP in 2021 alone.

NPCI, the specialist payments division of the Reserve Bank of India, says UPI’s real-time payment infrastructure would help accelerate the progress of financial inclusion in Nepal and also create new opportunities for businesses. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) was founded in December 2008 by the central bank to manage retail payments and settlement systems in India.

Gateway Payment Service (GPS) CEO, Rajesh Prasad Manandhar believes that UPI would play an important role in revolutionizing Nepal’s digital economy and achieving the country’s goal of becoming a cashless economy. “The same UPI service has created a significant positive impact in India in terms of digital payment transformation in the country,” Manandhar added.

Nepal Rastra Bank (Central Bank of Nepal) has licensed GPS as a Payment System Operator (PSO). It has been granted an open PSO license, allowing it to operate multiple payment methods and settlement-related technology and interfaces, which include domestic and international payment gateways, Switch, card transactions, unified payment, etc.

Previously, NPCI International partnered with a company to enable UPI payments in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). NPCI has partnered with Network International, a digital commerce provider in the Middle East and Africa. In November 2021, Network International signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), the international division of NPCI.