How Will be UPI Implemented in Nepal - The First Country to Adopt UPI Payments System

Harshit Verma Harshit Verma
Mar 10, 2022 15 min read
How Will be UPI Implemented in Nepal - The First Country to Adopt UPI Payments System

The unified payments interface is the buzzword for the pandemic year. Ever since the pandemic hit, people became scared of touching any surface in the world. This was the time when the UPI came to the rescue. UPI or the unified payments interface is a method or gateway that is capable of transferring money from one bank to the other. This is a life saviour in a country like India. We are a country of more than a billion people and everyone has to do certain basic transactions everyday.

With so many transactions happening all over the country, it becomes hard and inconvenient. UPI eases just that thing. It lets you pay directly from your bank and you don’t have to carry notes and currency of small denominations and even larger denominations. In all its sense, UPI was a game-changer in India. It is fast, safe, easy and convenient.

There was however some issue over the UPI case in India. You cannot transfer money outside the borders of India. For that, you will have to follow some other method of transaction. In recent news, it was announced that Nepal (India’s neighbour) will accept the UPI payments from India. In fact, it will be the first country that will adopt the UPI system that India has inbuilt in itself. This step will be playing a pivotal role in transforming digital work all over the place, in India and as well as in Nepal. It was officially announced by the NPCI on Thursday, last week.

NPCI stands for National payments corporation of India. Here we will be discussing Nepal, which is India’s friend and all in all aspects. In this article, we will also discuss what will be the after-effects of this news. How will the fintech startups change, will this be a better move for them or will the move give them a hard time. Let us see first how the UPI works, and why it is so widely used.

A Small Brief About the Unified Payments Interface
India Nepal UPI Collaboration
NPCI's Role in Implementing UPI in Nepal
What is Manam Infotech Private Limited?
What is the Gateway Payment Service (GPS)?
Benefits of UPI Collaboration in Nepal
How Will UPI be Implemented in Nepal?

A Small Brief About the Unified Payments Interface

We have invented so much, achieved so much and we are still in the process of innovating and adding value to the world. However, any amount of technology in the world is of no use, if it cannot ease the life of humans. Because what’s the matter if tech is useless? When the population rises to a great extent, something has to be invented which will work efficiently in managing human affairs.

In fact, as the population of the world rises, there has to be something that holds the number of transactions happening everywhere. This is when the word digital payment came into the picture. It is a mode of payment that is made via Digital means. Real money is flown out of a payer’s bank and is credited to the receiver's bank. This is also a fast, easy and secure method to transact.

In a country like India, where the population bubble is so huge, it becomes crucial to innovate in the medium of transactions. This is when the word UPI comes to place. There is a strong possibility that someone has not heard of this word beforehand.

UPI or Unified Payment Interface is a digital payments service that costs nothing to the payer and receiver but makes it easy for both parties. It is a payments service and as the name suggests, it is a pathway through which money can be transferred to anyone in India.

It is the most accepted digital payments method. Since the demonetisation and the covid 19 pandemic, the use cases of UPI has also risen many folds. Which makes it the perfect go-to pathway for any sort of transaction.

It is developed by NPCI, which stands for National Payments Corporation of India. It is safe and secure as it is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India. RBI is the Apex bank in India, which is also the central bank of India. It regulates and secures every UPI transaction happening in the country. It is secure in this manner.

Another thing is that UPI is simple and convenient. All it takes is a mobile number and a bank account. It connects with your email id which is used to make a VPA ID. VPA is a virtual payments address.

As the name suggests, it is the online address to which payments are directed or payments are taken. VPA is something that directs the payment/transaction path. Transfers can be inter-bank and they can also be intra-bank. A mobile number also works seamlessly in the UPI payment system, if it is attached/linked with the bank account of the sender or receiver.

There are many benefits for a service like the UPI. But however, there is one limit to a UPI transaction. You cannot do a UPI payment across borders as it is only available in India. In recent news, something striking happened. It was reported that Nepal will be accepting the UPI structure of India. It is such a great welcoming move by which people can transact even in Nepal from a UPI enabled app. Let us see what is the news and what will be its implications.

India Nepal UPI Collaboration

In recent news, it was announced that Nepal will be accepting UPI which is a great initiative for development in both the countries, India and Nepal. In fact, it will become the first country to do this. The country said that they want to adopt India’s payment gateway for growing together.

NCPI has also given a nod to this agreement. Its foreign wing has joined hands with another technology entity to provide services in Nepal. The work of providing the infrastructure for this facility will begin soon in time.

NPCI International, Gateway Payment Service, and Manam Infotech, all three trifectas have come together and joined hands to deploy UPI solutions in Nepal. NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL) is all set to Enable NPCI’s flagship Unified Payments Interface(UPI) platform in Nepal.

This partnership or collaboration will enable many developments, like the creation of a real-time payments system in Nepal, leveraging NPCI’s top of the line or state of the art technology to democratise payments and displace cash

NCPI has come together and joined hands with GPS and Manam Infotech to provide services relating to the Unified Payments Interface to the country of Nepal. GPS here stands for Gateway Payments Services and Manam is a famous tech company on the land of Nepal. It has been clearly stated that GPS or Gateway payment service will be responsible for acting as a system operator for payments in Nepal.

Manam infotech will add the Unified Payments Interface to the whole country. It is a divided work and with the joint efforts of the respected bodies, this work will be done in an effective manner.

The collaboration will also make for the larger digital public good in Nepal. This effort on both ends will improve real-time person-to-person which is called P2P and person-to-merchant which is P2M transactions in the neighbouring country, NPCI said in a statement.

There have been rising sentiments of all the people who see UPI as a great initiative in a digital world. With Nepal joining hands with India, this will boost the usage of UPI and it will also promote the digital economy which everyone today strives to become. Moreover, this broad use of UPI will also bring these two countries together in the same sphere of payments.

As merchants and consumers from both countries will get benefits from this collaboration. Payments can be received and accepted from both countries which will make trade and communication easier on both ends of the locations.

With collaboration with Nepal, we can achieve a greater goal of merging the two economies, not exactly but the magnitude will rise in both places. As the collaboration will start working, it will also be seen that person to person and person to merchant transactions will also improve the number of countries. National payments corporation of India and investors and merchants are all looking forward to all the doors of opportunities that will be open after this collaboration on UPI.


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NPCI's Role in Implementing UPI in Nepal

National payments corporation and NIPL (International payments limited) which is its foreign wing, was incorporated in April 2020. The NIPL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the national payments corporation of India. The sole purpose of NPCI is to regulate all the UPI payments in India.

Everything that is related to the Unified payment interface in India is to be managed by this entity. The foreign department of NPCI is known as NIPL and operates in connecting UPI outside Indian borders. The purpose of NIPL is to employ a payment system that is real-time, with the international markets. It has also the work of card schemes and RuPay which works outside Indian borders.

NPCI or the national payments corporation of India has developed and proved its capabilities in the past. It is the organisation that has the majority stakes in working overtime with the UPI in India.

The widespread usage of the Unified payments interface would not be possible, had it not been with the NPCI. Thus, this body has been the worthy organisation to regulate and promote UPI in Indian markets. The international wing of NPCI has also done immense work in its designated part. NIPL is focused on transforming payments across the globe with the use of technology and innovation

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

NPCI International, Gateway Payment Service, and Manam Infotech. The trifecta has come to deploy UPI solutions in Nepal. This partnership or collaboration will enable many consequences, like the creation of a real-time payments system in Nepal, leveraging NPCI’s top of the line or state of the art technology to democratise payments and displace cash. NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL) is all set to Enable NPCI’s flagship Unified Payments Interface(UPI) platform in Nepal.

Conversely, several countries want to establish a ‘real-time payment system’ or ‘domestic card scheme’ in their own country. NIPL, with its knowledge and experience, can offer these countries technological assistance through licensing, consulting for building real-time payment systems to meet the rapidly evolving need of fast-growing global businesses. It will not only enable payment for Indians but also uplift other countries by enhancing their payment capabilities through technological assistance, consulting, and infrastructure.

As mentioned before, NPCI is the governing body when it comes to any case related to UPI. NPCI stands for National payments corporation India. In this case, when Nepal is agreeing to add UPI in their country, NPCI has to nod. To this query, it is amazing to see that NPCI has agreed to the partnership which will improve payments in both geographies. The foreign/international wing of the national payments corporation of India has cleared any issues related to the collaborations.

NIPL which is National international payments Ltd, which is the foreign department of the National payments corporation of India has joined with some organisations to provide UPI to the international market. In this case, where Nepal will become the first-ever country to get the UPI as their payments gateway, NIPL has planned everything which they will be needing.

They have joined two other entities to fulfil their mission of enabling UPI in Nepal. The two bodies are the GPS and Manam. GPS stands for gateway payments service and the other entity is Manam Infotech. Enabling the Unified Payments Interface in Nepal, which is not an easy task, requires a lot of work and efficiency. These two entities with which the NIPL has collaborated, are well versed with the world of UPI and how it operates.

Gateway Payments Service will be the payment system operator in Nepal. The other company, that is Manam Infotech will be responsible for employing Unified Payments Interface in the neighbour to India.

The collaboration will serve the larger digital public good in Nepal and bolster interoperable real-time person-to-person (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions in the neighbouring country, NPCI said in a statement.
"Nepal shall be the first country outside of India to adopt UPI as the payments platform driving the digitalization of cash transactions and furthering the vision and objectives of the Nepal Government and Nepal Rastra Bank as the Central bank," it said.

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


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What is Manam Infotech Private Limited?

Among all the news of Nepal accepting Unified payment interface as their go-to transacting pathway, one entity is in charge of the settings. You guessed it right, it is Manam Infotech private limited.

Manam infotech will be the responsible body for enabling UPI technology and operations in India. It will work very closely and parallel to the GPS. GPS or Gateway payments service is the service that is entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining the pathway.

Nepal shall be the first country outside of India to adopt UPI as the payments platform driving the digitalisation of cash transactions and furthering the vision and objectives of the Nepal Government and Nepal Rastra Bank as the Central bank.

“Manam has always been part of major digital transformation across the various regions of the world, we believe this partnership will eliminate all the barriers of payment transformation within Nepal and across the border thereby transforming the regional economy,” Naga Babu Ramineni, Director of Manam said.

Manam Infotech Private Limited is a very repeated name in the article and it is worthy to be named many times. Manam Infotech is a Fintech (Finance plus technology) company based out of Bangalore, India.

Manam Infotech is the fintech arm for many leading banks across various regions. The regions in which Manam infotech works fabulously includes Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The company stands tall with over a decade of experience in digital wallets, payments, and all the omnipresent banking and digital lending. Manam Infotech has also been a part of transforming the traditional banks to digital-first banks, which was the primary focus of the government for a long time now.

What is the Gateway Payment Service (GPS)?

Another name that we have repeated in this article is GPS or the gateway payment service. GPS is a payment system operator with expertise in all the works relating to payment services and operators. It is to its core a PSO or a payment system operator.

It is licensed by NRB, which stands for Nepal Rastra Bank, which is the apex bank in the country (Central Bank of Nepal). It has been allowed a PSO licence which enables the entity to work and operate in all sorts of payment and transaction settlement-related technology.

GPS has all the rights that include all that of payment gateway, domestic and international gateway, with UPI, that is unified payments interface in switch and in card transactions.

Benefits of UPI collaboration in Nepal

The benefits that this collaboration entails are endless. The collaboration will help people build real-time money connections with the country without having to go through the hassle of other payment methods. This UPI partnership will be real-time and it will be capable of crossing borders.

All person to person money transactions and remittances between India and Nepal will flow like water. Not just person to person transactions but all the transactions related to the merchant's part will be carried out effectively if this collaboration gets realised.

The benefits are endless, as UPI is one of the most famous methods of payment in India. India is the second-most populous country in the world and UPI is a hit here. With all the volume of transactions that are received from here, it will benefit a lot from Nepal and it will add a good amount of transactions to Nepal too.

In 2021, UPI enabled 39 Billion financial transactions amounting to commerce worth USD 940 Billion, which is equivalent to approximately 31% of India’s GDP. UPI’s real-time payment infrastructure will help catalyse the process of financial inclusion in Nepal and will also create more opportunities for businesses. It will help modernise Nepal’s digital payment infrastructure and bring the convenience of digital payments to citizens of Nepal.

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. At NIPL, we are committed to transforming payments by taking our robust payments solutions to global markets and collaborating with local payment system operators. We are excited about this partnership, which will enable consumers within Nepal to transact swiftly using a state-of-the-art UPI platform and deliver a seamless user experience. We are confident that this initiative will stand as a testimony to NAPLes technological capabilities and vision of scaling our unique offerings globally."
Naga Babu Ramineni, Director of Manam said, “Manam has always been part of major digital transformation across the various regions of the world, we believe this partnership will eliminate all the barriers of payment transformation within Nepal and across the border thereby transforming the regional economy.”
Rajesh Prasad Manandhar, CEO of GPS said, “The same UPI service has created a significant positive impact in India in terms of the country’s digital payment transformation. We expect UPI in Nepal would play a pivotal role in transforming the digital economy of the country and dreams of building a less-cash society.”

How Will UPI Be Implemented in Nepal?

The neighbouring country of India, Nepal has good population stats. Out of all the population of Nepal, about 45 percent have bank accounts. That 45 percent account for something about 30 million people. Mobile penetration in Nepal is over 135 percent.

Moreover, it is reported that 65 percent of the population uses smartphones which will provide a good base for UPI payments. Not only this, the three major companies will work towards increasing the volume of transactions.

The three companies we are mentioning here are the UPI backed service providers. It is NPCI, National payments corporations of India, GPS, Gateway payment services, and Manam Infotech. All these three companies will work together to employ all the necessary equipment to make Unified payments accessible in Nepal all over the place.

It will also enable the way forward for real-time cross-border P2P remittances between Nepal and India, NPCI said. UPI service has created a significant positive impact in India in terms of the country’s digital payment transformation, Rajesh Prasad Manandhar, CEO of GPS said.
“We expect UPI in Nepal would play a pivotal role in transforming the digital economy of the country and dreams of building a less-cash society,” he added.

In 2021, UPI enabled 3,900 crore financial transactions valuing USD 940 billion, which is equivalent to approximately 31 per cent of India’s GDP. NIPL, being an internationally focused subsidiary of NPCI, is looking to drive deep collaboration with overseas partners in the areas of UPI like deployment, cross-border remittance, acceptance, using indigenously developed technologies in digital payments.

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

UPI’s real-time payment infrastructure will help catalyse the process of financial inclusion in Nepal and will also create more opportunities for businesses, NPCI said.

NIPL, being an internationally focused subsidiary of NPCI, is looking to drive deep collaboration with overseas partners in the areas of UPI like deployment, cross-border remittance, acceptance, using indigenously developed technologies in digital payments, NCPI said.

All the three organisations have nodded to set up a laid out plan in this path. They will be working together in a closely-knit target and process that will enable UPI in Nepal.

The benefits, as previously mentioned are countless. There will be ease in transactions of any sort, people and merchants will be the group of people who will be the first and foremost most affected in a good sense.

In short, it is a great move and that is why the NPCI and the concerned authorities nodded directly to the proposed news. This move is looked at as a win-win for both countries.


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Conclusion

UPI is amongst the most successful real-time payments (RTP) systems globally, providing – simplicity, safety, and security in P2P and P2M transactions in India. It is the most popular payment mechanism in India and the recent news said that Nepal will also be accepting this. This is a great move and will benefit both countries in transactions. The better the volume of transactions, the better will it indicate and benefit the growth of the country.

The benefits are endless and will help all the people across the borders who indulge in regular payments across larger boundaries of the land.

FAQs

Is UPI made in India?

Yes, the UPI platform and technology is designed in India and is regulated by RBI.

Who regulates UPI in India?

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulates UPI in India.

How many UPI users are there in India?

There are around 300 million active monthly users of UPI in India.

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