NRB “halts” digital payment agreement due to be signed between Nepal and India

KATHMANDU: Even as India and Nepal were set to sign a pact for cross-border digital payment with Indian e-wallets making it easy for travelers, sources claim it has been “halted” due to the influence of middlemen and Nepal’s e-payment platform, eSewa, among others.

Nepal and India were set to sign an agreement for the same during Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda’s Indian visit next week.

However, the Nepal Rastra Bank, the country’s central bank, “halted” the pact that was expected to boost tourism and trade by minimizing currency hassles, sources claimed.

“If this agreement was signed, travelers could make payments by scanning quick response (QR) codes,” the source said.

Tourists from both countries would be able to make digital payments using Indian e-wallets such as PhonePe, Google Pay, like BharatPe, and Paytm.

Nepal’s digital wallet companies, especially eSewa “influenced” the NRB to halt the agreement between the two neighbors, according to the source.

According to Indian media reports, the advantage of travelling to Nepal is that one did not need to change money.

The digital payment service was expected to minimize the hassles of carrying cash for Indian tourists and businessmen in Nepal.


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