Nepal bans the use of WeChat payment and Alipay

According to the Himalaya Times website of Nepal, the central Bank of Nepal (Nepal Rastra BANK,NRB) recently announced a ban on the use of WeChat payments and Alipay in Nepal to avoid the loss of overseas revenue due to the illegal use of payment applications by Chinese tourists.

A screenshot from the Himalaya Times website

According to the China News agency of May 21 reported that the central Bank of Nepal (Nepal Rastra BANK,NRB) announced the use of Alipay payment, WeChat payment and cross-border POS machine and other international payment systems (except to obtain the official authorization of Nepal) acts are illegal, The persons concerned will be punished in accordance with the relevant decrees.

A number of industry insiders expressed puzzlement over the ban on mobile payment in Nepal, as payment institutions are required to cooperate with local Banks to carry out currency clearing and settlement for overseas exhibition.

It is reported that the main reason for the ban on mobile payments in Nepal is that some local businesses or tour guides do not pass through Nepal’s local financial system, directly used the QR code of Chinese individuals or businesses to collect money, and the money was directly entered into their accounts in China.

According to relevant data, in 2018, China’s number of tourists to the Nile exceeded 150,000, an increase of 46.8% over 2017. Most Chinese tourists still retain China’s domestic consumption habits using Chinese payment software, including WeChat payment and Alipay, Chinese citizens who also operate local hotels, restaurants and other businesses in Nepal are also more willing to use these payment apps, But because these Chinese payment applications are not registered locally in Nepal, and although they are consumed in Nepal, payments actually take place in China and do not go through the Nepal local financial system, leaving local regulators unable to monitor capital movements and the Nepalese authorities unable to register Chinese tourists ‘ consumption as overseas income, At the same time, Chinese businessmen can also earn income without paying taxes.

In response, a spokesman for Nepal NRB said: “These activities are illegal. We have therefore decided to prohibit the use of these applications in Nepal and will immediately initiate a criminal investigation into the use of these Chinese payment applications if they are found to have been used. Foreign enterprises that also provide payment services shall register their businesses locally or have their services provided by a local registered company.”

In recent years, China’s outbound tourists have grown dramatically, driving the mobile payment industry to the sea to develop rapidly, but the issue of payment compliance has followed. Following Vietnam and Thailand, Nepal has banned the use of international payment systems such as WeChat payment, Alipay and cross-border POS machines in order to protect their own economic security and overseas income.

Two Chinese companies involved in the report, including WeChat payments and Alipay, responded.

WeChat responded: “WeChat payment cross-border business strictly abide by the relevant laws and regulations of various countries, for foreign illegal collection behavior, has been through technical means to crack down and prevent. Overseas merchants should pay the collection service through the partner compliance with WeChat payment. ”

Alipay parent company Ant Gold Clothing said that Alipay in the overseas business has always followed local laws and regulations, but also called on the vast number of users in accordance with the “Alipay Collection code Agreement” agreed norms using barcode payment services. For some users will be in China to collect money QR code in China outside the use of the phenomenon, Alipay has taken measures to strengthen prevention, and play a certain effect, for the illegal use of services to retain the right to pursue.