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This article is about the coin. For other uses, see Paisa (disambiguation).
10 Indian Paisa from 1968; made of Nickle-Brass.
Indian paise with Nelumbo nucifera.
Obverse: Nelumbo nucifera (National flower of India), year of minting and face value. Reverse: National Emblem of India and country name in Hindi & English.
Nelumbo nucifera is the national flower of India.

The paisa (Nepali/Hindi: पैसा, Urdu: پیسہpaisā) or poisha (Bengali: পয়সা, in Bangladesh) is a monetary unit in several countries; cognate terms include baisa (Arabic: بيسة‎‎, in Oman).

In India, Nepal and Pakistan, the paisa currently equals 1100 of a rupee. In Bangladesh, the poisha equals 1100 of a Bangladeshi taka. In Oman, the baisa equals 11000 of an Omani rial. The colloquial term for money in Burmese, paiksan (ပိုက်ဆံ), derives from the Hindi term paisa.[1]

100 Omani baisa note
100 Omani baisa note (reverse)

The word paisa is from Hindi and Urdu paisā, a quarter-anna coin, ultimately from Sanskrit term padāṁśa meaning 'quarter part', from pada "foot or quarter" and aṁśa "part".[2][3] Another explanation is that the word derives from Portuguese ´pesa´ from which peso and diminutive peseta are derived. The pesa was also in use in colonial Kenya.

Until the 1950s in India and Pakistan (and before 1947 in British India), the paisa was equivalent to 3 pies, 14 of an anna, or 164 of a rupee. After the transition from a non-decimal currency to a decimal currency, the paisa equaled 1100 of a rupee and was known as a naya paisa ("new paisa") for a few years to distinguish it from the old paisa that was 164 of a rupee.


In Hindi, Afghan Persian, and other languages, the word paisa often means money or cash. Medieval trade routes that spanned the Arabian Sea between India, the Arab regions and East Africa spread the usage of Indian and Arabic currency terms across these areas.[4] The word pesa as a reference to money in East African languages such as Swahili dates from that period.[4] An example of this usage is the older day Kenyan mobile-phone-based money transfer service M-Pesa (which stands for "mobile pesa" or "mobile money").


  1. ^ Myanmar-English Dictionary. Myanmar Language Commission. ISBN 1-881265-47-1. 
  2. ^ "paisa". Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "pada". (version 4.2). Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Jeffreys, M. D. W. (1953). "Cowry: Ndoro". NADA: The Southern Rhodesia Native Affairs Department Annual. Government of Southern Rhodesia (30). Retrieved 3 February 2015. ...currency terms pesa, upeni, mali, khete, tickey all derive from Hindu or Arabic currency terms still in use in what was once called the Erythraean Sea 

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