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Foreign Visa Cardholders Can Now Use Fonepay QR to Pay Digitally in Nepal

Foreigners in Nepal can now pay digitally at merchants by simply scanning QR codes using mVisa, the scan-to-pay service offered by global card network Visa.

Foreign Visa cardholders can now use Fonepay QR to pay digitally in Nepal
Foreign Visa cardholders can now use Fonepay QR to pay digitally in Nepal

Fonepay, a Nepali digital payment processor, collaborated with Visa, an American multinational financial services corporation, to enable Visa users across the globe to be able to pay in Nepal through Fonepay QR.

The collaboration allows all users holding Visa cards, including those in Nepal and across the globe, to make payments by using a Visa-enabled mobile app and scanning the QR code available in Fonepay’s 6 lakh+ merchants throughout the country.

We believe that this strategic partnership with Visa is a significant step towards the actualization of our vision of interoperable payment solutions for both domestic and international markets.

—Diwas Sapkota, Assistant CEO, Fonepay

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Visa Scan to Pay in Nepal

This cashless system would simplify the process of spending money in Nepal for foreign visitors while also eliminating the hassle of currency conversion.

Previously, the only cashless payment option available to foreigners in Nepal was to use a payment card at a point of sale (POS) machine. However, POS machines are only accepted in a few places in Nepal.

Fonepay X Visa Launch Event - (from left) Soumya Basu, Visa Biswas Dhakal, F1Soft; Anil Keshary Shah, Nabil Bank, Manuel P. Micaller, Jr, U.S. Embassy; Diwas Sapkota, Fonepay
Fonepay X Visa Launch Event – (from left-to-right) Soumya Basu, Visa; Biswas Dhakal, F1Soft; Anil Keshary Shah, Nabil Bank, Manuel P. Micaller, Jr, U.S. Embassy; Guru Prasad Poudel, Nepal Rastra Bank; Diwas Sapkota, Fonepay

With this partnership and the launch of “Visa Scan to Pay” in Nepal, even micro and small enterprises that previously couldn’t afford POS machines may now accept cashless payments from foreigners.

This requires Fonepay to change the existing QR Stands to accept Visa network payments. It enables not only foreigners but all Visa cardholders in Nepal to pay at any Fonepay merchant across the country using a Visa Scan to Pay-powered app.

I believe this integration will contribute towards enabling interoperability in payment services, which aligns with the regulation issued around a month back by Nepal Rastra Bank.

—Guru Prasad Poudel, executive director, Payment Systems Department, Nepal Rastra Bank

Recently, PaymentNepal (Gateway Payment Service Pvt. Ltd.), a payment system operator in Nepal, also announced that it is deploying India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform in Nepal, allowing Indian travellers to pay digitally in Nepal.

“Today we’re starting on a new milestone. I remember when at Grindlays Bank (now, Standard Chartered Bank), we launched Visa card. And we had to run around explaining to people why Visa card was great.

Now, we launched QR with scan-to-pay, and we invite the world to Nepal.

I’d like to thank Visa for partnering with Fonepay and using us to power this entire system forward in Nabil Bank.

There will come a day when we will forget cards, we will forget cash, and it will all be scan-to-pay.” said Anil Keshary Shah, CEO, Nabil Bank, during the launch event.

Visa Scan to Pay with Fonepay QR dummy transaction during the launch event
Visa Scan to Pay with Fonepay QR dummy transaction during the launch event

Digital Payments in Nepal

Fonepay has a network of more than 60 banks, financial institutions, and digital wallets in Nepal, and the app is used by over 16 million customers to make digital payments.

Bishwas Dhakal, president of F1Soft Group, said during the event that the company settles over 300 million rupees worth of transactions daily via QR processing.

Kumari Bank, a commercial bank in Nepal, introduced Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service in December 2021. It allows its customers to get an instant EMI loan using Fonepay QR.

To improve the ease, convenience, and security of digital payments in Nepal, Nepal Rastra Bank, the country’s central bank, issued a directive in February 2022 requiring all digital payment service providers in the country to implement interoperability.

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