Launch of “real-time payment system” connectivity between India and Singapore

On February 21, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Singaporean colleague Lee Hsien Loong unveiled the video-conferencing-based cross-border interconnectivity of “real-time digital payment systems.”

Residents in the two countries will be able to conduct quicker and more affordable transfers thanks to the simple connection between Singapore’s “PayNow” and India’s “Unified Payments Interface” (UPI). “This connectivity will improve remittances by giving citizens of both nations a low-cost real-time payment alternative.” Students, professionals, NRIs, and their family members will stand to gain the most from this, according to Mr. Modi.

The governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Shaktikanta Das, and the managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Ravi Menon, virtually joined the launch on Tuesday. The first transactions using the cross-border mechanism were also carried out by Mr. Das and Mr. Menon.

According to Mr. Modi, UPI processed 74 billion transactions worth more than 126 trillion rupees (about 2 trillion Singapore dollars) in 2022, providing evidence of the platform’s dependability and safety and fostering user trust.

He claimed that many analysts predict that India’s digital wallet payments will eventually surpass cash transactions.

The statement read: “A primary focus of the Prime Minister has been to ensure that the benefits of UPI are not restricted to India only, but that other nations as well benefit from it.” India, under PM Modi’s leadership, has developed into one of the quickest environments for fintech solutions, and this will help accelerate the internationalisation of India’s “best-in-class online payment network,” according to the statement.

There has been a lot of recent interest in the UPI-based fintech industry. “The National Payments Corporation of India” (NPCI) made it possible for overseas phone numbers to use UPI in January. Later, incentive programmes for boosting low-value BHIM-UPI transactions in FY 2022–2023 were authorised by the Union Cabinet, which is presided over by PM Modi.

PhonePe introduced support for “UPI international” transactions in February of this year, enabling Indian customers travelling overseas to pay foreign businesses using UPI.

India recorded approximately 23.06 billion cashless transactions in the third quarter of 2022, including UPI, credit, and debit cards, totaling 38.3 lakh crore. UPI-based payments out of these totaled 32.5 lakh crore in price.

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