Cross-border QR payment — PhonePe showcases UPI payments in Nepal

PhonePe in Nepal
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Nepal’s first PSO Fonepay partnered with India’s NIPL to launch the historic “Cross Border QR Payment” service in September 2023! As a result of this partnership, Nepali could make and receive payments through Fonepay in India and by Indians. The partnership has now added a brand new prospect, such that PhonePe can be used in Nepal by Indians.

PhonePe in Nepal Overview

Before we get into the details of PhonePe in Nepal, let’s take a look at PhonePe itself.

PhonePe

PhonePe Group is India’s leading fintech company. They are involved in various sectors including financial services like insurance and lending and consumer tech business. Under the latter, they produced different service platforms like Pincode (hyperlocal e-commerce platform) and the Indus app store (India’s localised app store).

PhonePe Banner

While the group expanded into these sectors later in time, they came into existence with — PhonePe. It is a digital payments app and the group’s flagship product. The app was launched in August 2016 and has amassed over half a billion registered users to date. Additionally, PhonePe has a payment acceptance network of 38 million merchants making it India’s leading consumer payments app. Meanwhile, on the monetary side of things, it processes over 230 million transactions daily while all these payments total over USD 1.5 trillion annually.

Unveiling PhonePe in Nepal

PhonePe showcased its services at a special event held in Kathmandu, Nepal. This event saw the presence of various influential individuals in the Nepali financial landscape. Similarly, the panel of the event included the likes of Anish Tamrakar — Chief Digital Banking Officer of Kumari Bank, Shardha Shrestha — Manager of Nepal Tourism Board, Jagdish Khadka — CEO of eSewa, and Vivek Rana — ICT/MIS Consultant of Asian Development Bank (ADB).

PhonePe Services Showcase Event

In the meantime, Ritesh Pai, and Diwas Kumar took the stage of the event who are CEO of International Payments of PhonePe, and CEO of Fonepay Nepal respectively. The former spoke about how this partnership would enhance the travel experience between the two countries. Likewise, Diwas Kumar highlighted that this collaboration would boost the economic growth of the countries.

Some things to note…

To note, only Indian citizens can use the PhonePe app for digital payments through UPI in Nepal on FonePay-based QR. The service had already gone live quite some months ago. Likewise, UPI stands for Unified Payment Interface, jointly developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) & Reserve Bank of India. It is a PSO (Payment Service Operator) that acts as a medium for digital transactions. Just like F1Soft’s FonePay and NCHL’s ConnectIPS in Nepal. Meanwhile, PhonePe is a digital wallet (Payment Service Provider) that uses UPI’s network. More like eSewa using the FonePay network here in Nepal.

And the cross-country payments only work on Fone-Pay based business QR (PAN-registered QR). It will not work on our personal bank account’s QR. Plus, one has to be physically present in another country, for instance, an Indian citizen must be present in Nepal to do the cross-country payment. Lastly, Nepali tourists in India will be able to make payments in India by scanning UPI-based QR codes soon. It is not available for the time being.

PhonePe in Nepal: Conclusion

Fonepay Nepal had previously partnered with NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) wherein they expanded their services to India. This very partnership has now facilitated the introduction of PhonePe in Nepal. Fonepay Nepal’s CEO announced that their journey to bring cross-border payments in Nepal has come full circle. He added that Indian tourists could make payments via PhonePe in Nepal.