The Rise of QR Payments in Nepal: A Case Study

Fonepay QR payments started in 2019, and have been adopted at an astonishing rate by both consumers as well as vendors. QR payments are fast, convenient, easy to use, and extremely retentive in nature. People who start using QR payments adopt it at a high rate, and for good reason. 

Fonepay recently onboarded over 10 lakh merchants, and with the rise in vendors accepting QR payments, we thought it might be a good idea to take a look at how QR payments are being used by people in the market today.

QR Payments are the Most Popular Digital Payment Method

QR payments might have been introduced in the country for a little over three years, but is slowly becoming more popular than other methods of payments. QR payments have overtaken debit and credit cards by over 35%, and there are 3 mobile banking users for each debit card user. 

Sashant Pradhan, Owner at Queens Eatery

“People appreciate QR payments”, said Sashant Pradhan, owner at Queens Eatery, a leading burger joint located in Sanepa. “About two-thirds of our customers prefer paying via QR, and I appreciate it too, since it reduces hassles like visiting the bank regularly for deposits.”

QR Payments are Convenient

Convenience is a factor that is regularly seen as a leading cause for the widespread adoption of QR payments. They only require internet access, which, in the urban context, is widespread.

Ashim Sitaula, Owner at Wings Factory

“We get a lot of orders over the phone”, said Ashim Sitaula, owner at Wings Factory (a popular restaurant with branches in Baneshwor and Radhe-Radhe). “Most of them pay via QR. It is easier for them, since they don’t need to worry about cash, and it is easier for our delivery person since they don’t have to worry about carrying change. Settlements for QR payments are also much faster than with card transactions; the whole day’s transactions are usually credited by the evening, whereas we don’t really know when the card transactions are credited. This allows us to manage our cashflow better. Our QR has also been printed on our bill pad, and during busy hours, QR payments negate the time needed to collect cash, count it, and return the change, reducing our overall turnaround time.”

QR Payments are Easy-to-Track

Queens Eatery has had the QR payment option for over 3 years now, and it has been a boon for Sashant to keep track of how much they have been earning.

“Accounting has become easier with QR payments”, said Sashant. “Once payment has been made, we get a notification, which tells us exactly how much we received, and a quick verification with the bank statement makes it easier for us to account for our earnings.”

Even Wings Factory had an easier time with their accounts after implementing QR payments. “I don’t need to go over the accounting for our digital payments as rigorously as I need to go through our cash payments. A quick glance at the bank statement is usually enough for me to gauge our income, and the notifications I receive on my phone, even when I’m away from the business, lets me know how busy or empty the restaurant is.”

QR Payments are Widespread

Prithubir Khatri, Mobile Banking User

Prithubir Khatri has been using QR as one of his primary methods of payments for the past 2 years. “I only used cash for filling up my gas tank”, mentioned Prithubir.

“However, once I found petrol pumps that were willing to accept QR payments, that is where I frequent. I’ve even ridden taxis where the driver has had the QR payment as an option and bought groceries from corner shops that allow QR payments. Spending cash does not let me know my spending habits, and I would regularly be spending money and not knowing where it went. Now, I keep relevant remarks while making QR payments, and it allows me to reign in my spending when I need to. Not visiting the ATM regularly is also a bonus.”

QR Payments are Easy-to-Reverse

“Of course, there have been times when the QR transaction has failed, and money has been taken out of my account but not gone into the vendor’s.” continued Prithubir. “But it is usually credited back into my account within a day. If I call the bank, the transaction is reversed automatically. Yes, QR transactions might fail, and while they go through most times, I don’t worry too much when they don’t.”

QR Payments are the Future Present

QR payments have become the de-facto payment method for the urban Nepali population. With a high popularity that is still rising, QR payments have been widely accepted, even embraced, by vendors and consumers alike. QR payments were called the future of Nepal, a future that is well on its way to realization.

With more and more vendors accepting QR payments and more and more consumers using the service, QR payments are making life easier for everyone. The rise of QR payments has been meteoric, with no signs of slowing down. It has transformed the way people pay, and will continue to do so as it spreads more.