Officials believe UPI going global as it partners with Singapore’s PayNow

PTI, Feb 21, 2023, 5:15 PM IST

Representative Image

New Delhi: With India’s Unified Payments Interface and Singapore’s PayNow launching cross-border connectivity on Tuesday, government sources said the UPI has not only revolutionised Indians’ financial lives but is also steadily becoming globally attractive and being adopted by other countries.

The UPI is best in class, a completely open and interoperable payment platform, they noted. Various countries, including Bhutan, Nepal, Malaysia, the UAE and France have entered into different agreements to facilitate transactions through it, they added.

The NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), the international arm of the National Payment Corporation of India and the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) of Bhutan, have partnered for enabling and implementing BHIM UPI QR-based payments in Bhutan.

Nepal became the first foreign country to deploy the UPI as a payment platform, officials said, adding that the collaboration between the neighbour’s Manam Infotech and Gateway Payments Service has made person-to-person (P2P), person-to-merchant (P2M) and cross-border payments operational.

In Malaysia, Merchantrade Asia has partnered with the NPCI International to offer real-time remittances to India. This partnership has enabled Merchantrade and its network to connect to the NIPL and facilitate remittance to beneficiary banks in India via UPI.

In Oman, a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Central Bank of Oman and the NIPL has enabled Indian RuPay cards and the UPI platform in Oman to facilitate seamless digital remittances, to benefit Indian workers and professionals.

They said the NIPL has partnered with LuLu Financial Holding, Mashreq Bank, and Network International in UAE to enable UPI payments in the UAE.

The NIPL partnered with Liquid Group, a leading crossborder digital payments provider, to enable UPI QR-based payments acceptance in 10 markets across north Asia and southeast Asia. With this, the UPI can be enabled in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, they said.

France-based payment services provider Lyra Network signed an agreement with the NIPL, allowing students and tourists to make payments through UPI, they said.

Various partnerships have enabled Indian customers and merchants in India with an active UPI ID to make and accept cross-border payments linked to the UK.

The NIPL has also entered into a partnership with European payment services facilitator Worldline, with the intention of expanding acceptance of Indian payment channels across Europe, especially in countries such as Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland, they said.

Under the partnership, Worldline’s QR code-based mechanism will allow merchants’ point-of-sale (PoS) systems in Europe to accept UPI payments from Indians using their mobile phones. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed hope that digital transactions will soon surpass cash, as Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is increasingly becoming the most preferred payment mechanism in the country.

Modi after the launch of the cross-border connectivity between the UPI and PayNow of Singapore said about 74 billion transactions amounting to more than Rs 126 trillion, which is approximately 2 trillion Singapore dollar, was done through UPI in 2022.

Modi along with his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong witnessed the launch of cross-border connectivity between the UPI and PayNow of Singapore via video conferencing.

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