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Alipay+ and Nepal Clearing House Limited sign MoU

Source: Alipay+

Nepal Clearing House Limited (NCHL), a public limited company under the leadership and guidance of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB, The Central Bank of Nepal), and Ant International, a digital payment and financial technology leader dedicated to building an inclusive and sustainable global commerce ecosystem, have agreed to enable travellers to Nepal to enjoy a seamless digital payment experience at more than 800,000 merchants across the country.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two sides, in the coming months, users of more than 10 leading mobile wallets and banking apps, which are payment partners of Alipay+, the cross-border mobile payment and digitalization technology solutions operated by Ant International, will be able to use cashless payments when they travel to Nepal, simply by scanning NEPALPAY QR or other interoperable QRs.

NEPALPAY QR has been implemented by NCHL as per the NepalQR standards published by Nepal Rastra Bank and as part of the National Payment Switch. NEPALPAY QR works as an independent QR scheme and allows QR interoperability at merchant level and network level.

Neelesh Man Singh Pradhan, Chief Executive Officer, NCHL, said: “Nepal’s tourism sector has started to pick up in the recent months as a preferred travel destination for various tourists, and hence a need of seamless digital payments. Digitizing payments in Nepal and connecting its retail payment systems globally has been one of the key focus for NCHL. This partnership between NCHL and Alipay+ for enabling merchant payments is expected to be a major milestone to ease the cross-border transactions.”

The collaboration comes as the popularity of Nepal grows as a travel destination. According to the Nepal Tourism Board, a total of 416,069 tourists visited Nepal from January to April 2024, averaging over 100,000 arrivals per month. With tourists from countries and regions of Alipay+ payment partners amongst the top in visitor arrivals to Nepal, they will be able to pay even more widely, at merchants accepting NEPALPAY QR or equivalent interoperable QR, which includes micro and small businesses, encouraging even more localized experiences.

Edward Yue, General Manager of Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Ant International, said: “Through the support of the Nepal Rastra Bank and Nepal Clearing House Ltd., Alipay+ is enhancing cross-border payments in Nepal, digitalizing the travel and payments experience, not just for consumers, but also for local businesses. With travel to Nepal growing steadily and a country known for such diverse culture, being able to easily make mobile payments at even the smallest merchants who accept NEPALPAY QR, will open up new local and unique experiences for tourists, while ensuring more local businesses can benefit from tourism, a key driver of Nepal’s economy. This is a key component of our partnership with national QRs - to promote inclusion and growth at scale, while enabling a more connected global travel experience.”

Introduced by Ant International in 2020, Alipay+ now connects over 88 million merchants in 57 countries and regions to 1.5 billion consumer accounts across over 25 e-wallets and bank apps, allowing consumers to travel and pay hassle-free globally, and merchants to expand cross-border consumer engagement and digital marketing.

The service also builds on Alipay+’s extensive regional partnerships, including collaborations with national QR schemes including Singapore’s SGQR, Malaysia’s PayNet, South Korea’s ZeroPay, Sri Lanka's LankaPay and Cambodia's KHQR.

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