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ESewa, Khalti launch international payment: Citizens of Nepal-India to benefit

Two of Nepal’s leading digital wallet service providers eSewa and Khalti have launched cross-border Nepal-India payment services. This allows Indian users to make payments in Nepal using Indian digital wallets BHIM and PhonePE. Similarly, Nepali eSewa and Khalti app users will have the ability to pay on mobile in India by scanning QR codes at merchants.

Both eSewa and Khali launched international payment services after ratifying an agreement with Nepal’s payment operator Fonepay and NPCI (National Payment Corporation of India), India’s retail payment operator and settlement system. The service launched days after the central regulatory banks of both Nepal and India Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) signed a Terms of Reference (ToR) deal. Now, Indian tourists and other visitors can use digital wallets to make payments at eSewa and Khalti merchants in Nepal by scanning QR codes. However, Nepali users will need to wait a few days before they can perform wallet transactions in India.

Currently, Indian citizens can pay electronically for goods and services on their smartphones. let’s get into more details.

Esewa launches cross-border payment for Indian tourists

eSewa international payment for Indian citizens in Nepal
eSewa

ESewa’s cross-border payment system enables Indian citizens to pay at eSewa merchants in Nepal seamlessly via a QR scan. It allows the company’s over 4.50 lakh merchants across Nepal to receive payments from Indian tourists electronically. This has several benefits. First, Indian citizens don’t have to bother with currency exchanges. Secondly, they don’t have to bother carrying cash while they go to the cinema, shopping, or touristy places to pay. Additionally, the service rids of possible encounters with counterfeit currency.

Likewise, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are also set for major benefits from this cross-border payment initiative. One of eSewa’s motivations is to promote local businesses while also contributing to the digital national economy. We can’t emphasize how significant this cross-border payment service is. Hundreds of thousands of Indian nationals visit Nepal every year. The eSewa merchants will have great ease in accepting payments from Indian citizens in Nepali currency.

Also read: Indian users can pay with PhonePE in Nepal

How can Indian citizens pay in Nepal using BHIM and PhonePe at eSewa merchants?

Payment should not be difficult at all as it is online and uses a sophisticated set of infrastructure. Here are the steps for Indian citizens to follow to make BHIM and PhonePe payments in Nepal:

  • Open the BHIM or PhonePe app
  • Scan the Fonepay QR at eSewa merchants
  • Input amount in Nepali currency
  • Confirm the payment.

Note: to make international payments in Nepal, both BHIM and PhonePe users need to activate first UPI International Payments from their respective digital wallets.

How can eSewa merchants get payments from Indian citizens?

ESewa merchants can receive payments from Indian citizens with their existing Fonepay QR. However, businesses must register first if they haven’t availed of this service. UPI scan and payment are available on existing Fonepay QR for eSewa merchants. If you want to get on board, then you need to contact eSewa and grab a QR stand from the company.

Khalti announces mobile payment service for Indian tourists

Khalti international payment for Indian citizens in Nepal
Khalti

Khalti says that Indian nationals can make payments in Nepal using BHIM, PhonePe, and other Indian digital wallets. This allows over 20 thousand Khalti merchants across Nepal to receive payments from Indian tourists and visitors in Nepali currency.

Khalti maintains that the international payment service enables small and medium businesses (SMIs) to benefit from online payment services and further boost their economic growth from the huge tourism market.

You might also want to read this: OnePoint and NCHL agreement to facilitate cross-border payment

How can Indian tourists pay in nepal using Indian digital wallets at Khalti merchants?

Khalti QR enables Indian citizens to pay at Khalti merchants. therefore, any businesses in Nepal that are Khalti subscribers shall allow Indian mobile wallet users to pay via a simple scan. To illustrate further, these are the simple steps Indian tourists can follow to pay through BHIM UPI and PhonePe in Nepal:

  • Open BHIM UPI or PhonePe app
  • Scan Fonepay acquired a QR code
  • Confirm your payment to pay for Khalti merchants.

Note: Before paying an amount to a Khalti merchant, the Indian currency has to be converted into Nepal. This conversion is subject to a minimal fee. The same applies when Nepali currency is converted into Indian currency.

Also recommended: Khalti launches collateral fund load and broker payment services

Things to remember though

To be able to pay in Nepal at Khalti merchants, Indian users need to meet the following easy criteria.

  • Activate International UPI Payments service in their digital wallets
  • Enable location services on their devices
  • Being in Nepal physically
  • and have enough balance in their wallet to make payment

Benefits of cross-border QR payments in Nepal

As Indian citizens visit Nepal, one of their prime hassles comes into play while making payments. So far, they have had to rely on physical paper bills to pay in Nepal. Although digital payment is mainstream in many Indian urban settings, the absence of cross-border payment meant they had to endure a major inconvenience while visiting across the border. The same case applies to Nepalese who go for work-study or visit in India.

For Indian users

However, the groundbreaking international payment facility for Nepal-India brings many benefits such as:

  • Easy and convenient payment
  • No hassle with currency exchange, and carrying physical money
  • No worry about counterfeit (fake) currency
  • Almost full coverage of Khalti payment means online payment is available at almost entire places they visit.
  • No need to use any prepayment cards

As we mentioned again, Nepali digital wallet users will have to wait a while before they can reap the benefit of smartphone payment in India. Just like Indian users, Nepali citizens can also pay using eSewa and Khalti apps across the border.

It’s also worth noting that the UPI International Payments activation on both BHIM UPI and PhonePe will initially be valid for 1 month. Soon, Google Pay will also be integrated with an international payment facility for Indian nationals in Nepal.

The cross-border payment is one of the milestone events between Nepal and India. the initiative will play an instrumental role in lifting businesses and promoting financial inclusion. What is your take on this benchmark initiative by Nepal and India? Do offer your input and suggestions in the comments below.

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