June 4: Nepal Clearing House Limited (NCHL) has signed an agreement with UKaid’s Sakchyam - Access to Finance Programme (Sakchyam) to “promote connectIPS e-Payments, establish National Payments Interface (NPI) and extend Settlement Guarantee Fund (SGF)”.
The partnership was officially announced on June 3 following the signing and exchanging of agreements between Neelesh Man Singh Pradhan, chief executive officer of NCHL and Nirmal Dahal, team leader of Sakchyam.
According to a joint statement issued by the signatories, the event was organized in the presence of the executive directors of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), other officials of NRB and presidents of Nepal Bankers Association, Development Banks Association and Nepal Financial Institutions Association.
The statement further said that the partnership aims to extend payment infrastructure for an integrated mobile and web-based payment services such that it will support in establishing an efficient and reliable digital payment ecosystem in Nepal.
The three major ventures of this project include promotion, awareness and training of connectIPS e-Payment system; development and rollout of National Payments Interface (NPI); and extension of Settlement Guarantee Fund (SGF).
The above-mentioned ventures will cater to a variety of beneficiary groups, while the collective beneficiaries of the project include bank customers throughout Nepal, banks and financial institutions (BFIs), government/semi-government organizations, large corporates, SMEs, PSP/PSOs, etc.
“The project will also support the government’s policy towards creating a digital economy with increased P2P, P2G, G2P, C2B and B2C payments on a countrywide scale,” the statement added.
Sakchyam Access to Finance is an UKaid-funded programme as a part of an agreement between the governments of Nepal and the UK. It is being implemented by Louis Berger for DFID Nepal, in partnership with local and international institutions.
NCHL is promoted by Nepal Rastra Bank and banks and financial institutions to establish multiple national payments infrastructures of which it has been operating NCHL-ECC, NCHL-IPS and connectIPS e-Payment systems with participation from the majority of the BFIs and few non-bank institutions.