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Alipay, the largest digital platform of the world has got permission to operate its business here in Nepal. With this, the no of such payment service providers has increased, 3 are from only China. Earlier, Wechat and UnionPay got permission from the Authority.
The Chinese digital payment platforms WeChat and Alipay had applied to Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to legally operate in Nepal. They had asked the central bank of the country for the permission, several months ago. Sarita Bhatta, chief of the foreign exchange department at the central bank stated that these two companies had asked for permission for licensed operation in Nepal.
The NRB earlier had published a public notice affirming that no digital payment platform can operate without permission. Even before getting the license, there were rumors that hotels, restaurants, guest houses and travel agencies operating in tourist hubs like Thamel, Basantapur, and Pokhara were allowing payments by WeChat and Alipay. These two Chinese companies had applied for registration after that notice.
After certain months of the application, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has finally granted approval to Alipay to administer its operations in the country. Along with this, the central bank has authorized two Chinese payment service providers to extend their electronic payment service in Nepal. Earlier NRB had granted permission to WeChat Pay and UnionPay to conduct business in Nepal.
Executive director and head of the Payment Systems Department of NRB, Revati Prasad Nepal stated that the adjustment services of transactions will be handled through Himalayan Bank to operate Alipay services in Nepal. Although NRB has authorized Alipay to proceed with the business in Nepal, the settlement partner, Himalayan Bank is yet to set up the proper infrastructure for the services.
WeChat Pay and Alipay are especially prevalent among Chinese tourists and were being used earlier too to pay for activities in the hospitality sector in Nepal. The illegal use of these payment systems had barred Nepal to account the investment made by Chinese tourists in the country and no taxation would be possible as the transaction was not seen by Nepali authorities. After the formal process, the companies can now do business in Nepal without any worry.
Although we expect them to be available here in Nepal to compete with eSewa, Khalti, that is not going to happen any time soon.
Alipay is a China-based mobile and online payment platform. The company was established in Hangzhou, China in February 2004. Alibaba Group and its founder Jack Ma, a popular personality in the tech world, established the company. The company moved to Shanghai headquarter in 2015 and its parent company in Ant Financial.
Earlier, PayPal was the world’s largest mobile payment platform but Alipay overtook PayPal later in 2013 to become the world’s largest mobile payment platform. The number of Alipay users was 870 million (as of March 2018) and this is quite a huge number. It is the world’s biggest mobile payment service company and the second-largest payment service organization in the world.
Digital payment in Nepal has become quite popular in Nepal these days. Big players like eSewa, Khalti, IMEPay, and others are working hard to provide almost every service via their digital payment apps. Don’t forget to check out the best digital payment apps in Nepal.