SCT and UnionPay ink agreement

Kathmandu, August 20

SmartChoice Technologies (SCT), the largest electronic payments network in Nepal, has signed a memorandum of understanding with UnionPay International (UPI), to issue SCT-UPI co-branded chip cards. The pact was signed by Managing Director of SCT, Rabindra Bahadur Malla, in Shanghai, China, as per a press statement issued today.

UPI is a subsidiary of China UnionPay focused on the growth and support of UnionPay’s global business. UnionPay International has enabled card acceptance in over 150 countries and regions with issuance in more than 40 countries and regions.

Currently, over 1.2 billion UnionPay chip cards have been issued worldwide.The cards SCT intends to deploy will use UICS (UnionPay IC Specifications) application, which is UPI’s latest security application that complies with EMV standard.

These chip cards will employ Dynamic Data Authentication (DDA) method. This method of data authentication requires each chip card to have a cryptographic coprocessor which uses a pair of public and private keys to generate a cryptographic code that proves that the card initiating the transaction and the terminal are both genuine.

Nepal Rastra Bank has been asking banks to upgrade their magnetic stripe cards to chip cards due to their superior security features. This move by SCT is to assist banks and financial institutions in its network

to comply with the central bank’s directive.