UnionPay International (UPI) announced today that it was officially granted by Nepal Rastra Bank (the Central Bank of Nepal) with the country’s first PSO (Payment Systems Operator) license held by an international company. With this license, UnionPay QR Code has become the first legal Cross-border QR payment solution in Nepal. UPI is also allowed to provide services as a payment system supplier, including carrying out card issuance collaboration with local banks and other financial institutions.
In 2010, UnionPay International entered Nepal and started its business complying with requirements of the Central Bank of Nepal. In 2016, the Central Bank of Nepal ordered new rules that all companies conducting payment services in Nepal should apply for a license. In response to this new requirement, UnionPay International actively applied at once. As the first international payment company issued this license, UnionPay’s service capabilities and compliance management are recognized by the Central Bank of Nepal.
So far, UnionPay QR Code payment service is accepted at more than 10,000 merchants in Nepal. These include popular brands such as KFC, Pizza Hut and Minoso. More than 20,000 local merchants will be able to accept UnionPay QR Code payment by the end of 2019, covering sectors of F&B, retail and transportation.
While providing payment ease for tourists visiting Nepal, UPI is also expanding its service scope for local residents. As of this June, about half of the SmartChoice (SCT) Technologies members have issued UnionPay chip cards. Moreover, UPI and SCT have jointly developed QPay, a digital wallet based on UnionPay QR code standard, enabling local users to enjoy the UnionPay QR Code payment service both in and outside Nepal.
Currently, the UnionPay card is accepted at 60% of ATMs and 70% of merchants in Nepal, and is expected to reach 100% POS acceptance within 2019. Besides at brick-and-mortar merchants, cardholders can also pay with UnionPay cards at the official website of Buddha Air, Ncell Telecom and other well-known online merchants.