Launching of National Payment Gateway (NPG) Delayed in Nepal

The government of Nepal announced the launch of the most-anticipated National payment gateway (NPG) to take place within September 2020 but, the government is lagging in bringing the system into operation. It is already a year late as it was supposed to launch last year. The launching date was delayed by a year to upgrade its features.

During the initial development of the gateway, it focused on only governmental transactions. The launch was put off for a year to enlarge it and create a whole payment ecosystem in the form of the National Payment Gateway. A year later, the National Payment Gateway is still on hold with no clue about its launch.

It was claimed that the preparation of the Information technology structure and integration of five commercial banks to the gateway completed last year. Last time, the National Information and Technology Center (NITC) asserted that as soon as the government completes the operational roles and responsibilities, they will roll out the National Payment Gateway but, no further details have flowed into the public about the launching of NPG as if the government has forgotten about it. The reason behind the delay is not known.

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Below are some information about Nepal’s first National Payment Gateway.

What is the National Payment Gateway (NPG)?

As the nation slowly paves its way towards Digitalization, Nepal Government was preparing for a long time to initiate a platform where they can provide various government services to the people in the form of National Payment Gateway.

National Payment Gateway (NPG) is Nepal’s first governmental online payment platform to be introduced by the Nepal Government in order to monitor different kinds of payments such as VAT payment, Income Tax payment, and Excise Duty in a digital platform.

Different governmental bodies such as the National Information Technology Centre (NITC), Central bank of Nepal, and Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) are involved in various tasks to make NPG operative. They are considering new laws to support digital payment and also hold the responsibility to monitor privacy and cybersecurity. The NPG system is speculated to become a placement for a card transaction system and has a high possibility to act as a bridge for international economic transactions.

The benefits of NPG over other online payment gateways

There are dozens of online payment gateways registered in Nepal that are carrying out economic transactions within Nepal. But how is the service of NPG different from other online payment gateways? Let’s comprehend the services in points below:

  1. Like several payment gateways, the purpose of the Nepal Payment Gateway is also to operate online money-related transactions with the use of an electronic device. But, the main difference between NPG and other private online payment gateways is that the service charge of Nepal Payment Gateway is free. That means the extra fee that an online payment gateway has been charging to pay bills of government services such as electricity bill, water bill, Public service fee, is subtracted in NPG.
  2. National Payment Gateway will also ease the problem of having to open an account in several banks since separate payment service providers have connections with different banks on a distinct basis.
  3. National Payment Gateway will also provide services like ATM, e-cheques, user-to-user e-commerce, digital wallet, electronic check, card switch, credit transfer, debit transfer, etc. It can enter into agreements with the public on the G2P system, and with private companies on the G2B system.
  4. A system of paying for advertisements on networks, including Facebook and YouTube, may also be developed in the future. National Payment Gateway will be able to include several kinds of business associations such as mobile internet service providers, banks, finance, etc. It will help in real-time payment, so NPG is said to work fast and save time.
  5. The government claims that National Payment Gateway is based on international standards, so if NPG allows us to conduct international economic transactions, then it would be a great initiative.

Nepal Payment Gateway was likely to launch in mid-September this year, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Several countries have integrated such platforms for digital payments for both inside the country and outside, such as Paypal, UnionPay, Amazon Pay, etc. It was joyful news for Nepalese people that they would be able to integrate with international payment platforms after the introduction of NPG. It will be an opportunity for many Nepali businesses, entrepreneurs, and employees if the Nepali card gets internationally accepted. The Delay in the launch of such a useful system in Nepal has certainly disappointed the mass. 

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The primary use of NPG is to collect government revenue. It will be a reliable and secure medium to perform various government payments. If the government launched NPG at the designated time, then people would have utilized it to carry out cashless transactions, which is good from a health perspective during this pandemic situation.

We are still waiting for the Nepal Payment Gateway to come into operation. What do you think is the reason behind the consecutive delay in the launch of Nepal’s first governmental online payment platform? Tell us in the comment section below. 

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