After India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Singapore’s PayNow were integrated last week to enable real-time funds transfer between residents of both countries, LiveMint reported that UPI may be connected to the UAE, Mauritius and Indonesia, too.
Mehul Mistry, global head of strategy, digital financial services and partnership at online payments solutions company Wibmo, told Mint that nations like UAE, Mauritius, and Indonesia will likely follow suit to enable instant money transfer after Singapore’s launch. “It is a matter of pride that India’s world-class UPI digital payment infrastructure has gone global and will make it easier for Indian users to conduct business abroad,” he said. Wibmo was acquired by financial services provider PayU in 2019.
Singapore is the first country with which a cross-border person-to-person (P2P) payment process has been launched. The facility is expected to particularly benefit the Indian diaspora to carry out quick and cost-efficient money transactions just by scanning QR codes. Lauding the initiative, Mehul said that it will serve as inspiration for other countries looking to harness technology to enhance business across borders.
The India-Singapore cross-border real-time payment system was launched on February 21 by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das, and Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong virtually attended the launch event.
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“The PayNow-UPI linkage will offer cheaper, faster, and safer cross-border retail payments and remittances, for businesses and individuals alike, directly between bank accounts or e-wallets,” Singapore’s Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loo expressed hope that the “strong partnership” will continue to result in innovative technology solutions.
The PayNow-UPI project is the world’s first real-time payment systems linkage to use a scalable cloud-based infrastructure which can accommodate future increases in the volume of remittance traffic, according to a statement by MAS.
On Sunday, PM Modi in his monthly radio broadcast said that many countries are showing interest in the country’s UPI and the bilateral agreement with Singapore will bolster ease of living through digitalisation.
“Now, people of Singapore and India are transferring money from their mobile phones in the same way as they do within their respective countries. I am glad that people have started taking advantage of it,” Modi said in the latest edition of Mann ki Baat.
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