Well, why QR Code?
Nothing kills the momentum of a business transaction like working with cash/cheque. Leaving your work desk for signing a cheque, sent them to your bank, receive the deposit vouchers back, wait for them to be credited to your account, that takes a lot of time and administrative hassle. The use of QR Codes have helped minimize such inefficient administrative work. Print/write the cheque, scan them, maintain the duplicates, courier the original cheques, stamp them, receive the voucher back from bank, or the cheque itself in case it has been rejected, lot of time have been consumed. That is some backward manual works with very ineffective output. QR Code comes to solve this inefficiency.
What are they?
QR Codes have existed since 1990s, developed by Masahiro Hara from the Japanese company Denso Wave but its use in the digital payment flourished when Chinese companies designed a QR code payment method which allowed partnering with stores to accept payment from end customers. Then it really took off.
QR Code is an abbreviation for “quick response code” and it is a type of barcode. It is machine readable optical label that contains some information that could be locator, urls, identifiers or trackers. The modern use of QR code has been mainly driven by the objective to make convenience oriented applications. Thus QR Codes have become so common in consumer advertising.
How do they work?
QR Codes works based on the compact data fitted into it in a format for an easy exchange of information using modern electronic channels. QR Codes used in Nepal by the mobile banking apps uses the banking data in the following information structure to recognize the receiver. I will use my own bank account in Nabil Bank for an example:
When this text is converted into the QR Code, it thereby obviates the need for a payer to type in the receiver’s bank account details into his mobile banking app. This leads to increasing the capacity of the marketing conversion funnel, less effort to both the receiver and the payer, whereas a longer and more targeted time and pitch may be applied by the seller instead of focusing on sharing the banking details.
How do I get one for my Business?
Payment Service Providers in Nepal provide an array of services including providing the QR Codes for their Merchant customers. They provide those merchant clients the convenience to receive cashless payments digitally through the QR Codes, instantly receive the payments directly into bank account all with integration with the security compliances.
But if it is just the QR code for your personal/business bank account that you want to place it in your finance, reception or customer desk area then you can follow the following steps and use it for the purpose receiving payment from your customers.
(A) Step One: Confirm your bank details
Obtain your correct bank details. Preferably from your bank or your chequebook. It’s really important to be careful in this step. You do not want to miss the digits in your account number or insert unnecessary spaces in your account name. Just keep in mind about the dots “.” and commas “,” and spaces ” ” and that you get your bank details correct.
(B) Step Two: You need to obtain these three information
The second step now is to gather three details. Here, I have used my bank details as an example. This could be your firm’s / company’s account details too.
1. Account Number: 01910017516647
2. Account Name: Sushil Parajuli
3. Bank Code: NARBNPKA
Bank Code here refers to the SWIFT Code of the banks. You can google your Bank’s SWIFT Code or obtain it from your bank’s website or your relationship manager. In my case, I maintain my account in Nabil Bank, whose swift code is NARBNPKA.
(C) Step Three: Fill in the details in the linked spreadsheet
(D) Step Four: Obtain your QR codes and print them
Once the details have been filled in you can download the full QR Image from the link and clear your bank details. Print the QR Code and stick it somewhere in your office reception, finance desk, customer desk, embed them in your website or social share and that’s it, you are done.
What this QR Code supports and what it doesn’t?
(a) Supports payment from mobile banking applications.
(b) Doesn’t support payments from Digital Wallets (e.g. Khalti, Esewa) because they have their own QRCode system and Digital Wallet is different concept than making payment into the bank.
(c) Doesn’t support hub payments (e.g. Ticket, Electricity etc. that are aggregated by Digital Wallets) unless they have provided their bank details in QRCode.
(d) Use Case: It’s a simple tool but if your customers consists of lots of end consumers then your office can certainly benefit from this.
Important: If the file linked above has been tampered by other users then use the link below to access a read-only file and make a copy of the file to your Google Drive to use the spreadsheet application. In Google Sheet Go to: File > Make a Copy > Choose a Location > and > Save. Here is the link to the read only file.
NepalQR Standard issued by NRB
Not all the payment service providers and digital wallet companies in Nepal have adopted the NepalQR standard. Nepal Rastra Bank has issued the Standard NepalQR guideline in February 2021 specifically to allow the interoperability and standardization of the QRs issued by the existing PSPs in Nepal, to minimize fragmentation and frictions in the digital payment industry. The standard forms part of NepalQR Standardization Framework and Guidelines based on EMVCo. standards version 4.3. It follows a specific encoding specification method. Here is a link to the NepalQR Standardization Framework and Guidelines issued by Nepal Rastra Bank: Payment Systems Department.
NPCI's UPI and the future of Digital Payments in Nepal
Nepal is embracing the NPCI system of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the first country to embrace India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) which will play a key role in revolutionizing the digital economy our country. In Nepal UPI will be used as a digital public utility to support interoperable real-time person to person and merchant to merchant payment transactions. It will create the groundwork for real-time cross-border p2p transfers between Nepal and India as well as an open interoperable system for real-time payments and financial inclusion. This cooperation will allow Nepalese last mile customers to benefit from an open interoperable payment system that enables real-time financial transfers between bank accounts and merchant payments. It will pave the road for real-time cross-border transfers between Nepal and India.
Nepal has been positive to adopt this digital payment revolution within the country. Nepal Government’s decision to remove the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) and reduce the transaction charge to zero in December 2019 made a much needed relief to the last mile customers and propelling the payment service providers in Nepal to innovate new technology for the revenue rather than being reliant on the MDR income. The magnitude and speed with which UPI operates is unfathomable. UPI has moved India well ahead of the rest of the globe and India transfers money using QR scan codes and other means while most nations still use old methods. In wealthy nations of the west card payments remain prominent.
UPI is among the most successful real-time payment systems globally providing simplicity safety and security in person to person and person to merchant transactions in India. It facilitates the concept to allows multiple bank accounts to get into a single mobile application. Only in the year 2021 UPI enabled 3,900 Crore financial transactions valuing 940 Billions US$ dollars which is equivalent to approximately 31 percent of India’s GDP.
This flagship payment platform from India will help bolster interoperable real-time person-to-person and merchant payment transactions in Nepal it will enable real-time cross-border p2p remittances between Nepal and India. It is expected to be deployed in Nepal along with all the functionalities and features presently available in India. This will certainly help catalyze the process of financial inclusion in Nepal and will also create more opportunities for both large and small businesses. So we Nepalese are finally not very far from using exceptional services from Google Pay, PayTm and such. Hope this competitive position will also propel the present service providers to improve on their existing facilities, more seamless API integration and allow opportunities to explore the open banking philosophy in Nepal.