India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) was integrated with Singapore’s PayNow on February 21, 2023, thus paving the way for faster and more transparent remittances between the two countries.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das launched the new linkage in association with his Singaporean counterpart, Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Incidentally, the project to link UPI and PayNow was initiated in September 2021 to facilitate faster, efficient and a more transparent cross-border transactions between India and Singapore in an effort to boost trade, travel and remittances between the two.
The UPI-PayNow linkage will now allow users of the two payment systems – UPI and PayNow – to make instantaneous transfers on a reciprocal basis without having to use the other payment system.
Indian students and visitors in Singapore will be able to initiate instant and low cost transfer from Singapore to India and vice-versa through the UPI system. Likewise, Singaporeans in India will also be able to make payments and transfers back to Singapore from India on an instantaneous and reciprocal basis through the PayNow system.
PayNow is the equivalent of UPI in Singapore. It allows peer-to-peer transfer of funds through participating banks and other financial institutions. Users can send and receive money instantaneously from one bank or e-wallet to another using their mobile number, Singapore National Registration Identity Card (NRIC)/Foreign Identification Number (FIN), or virtual payment address (VPA), much in the same way Indians can send or receive money through their mobile phone numbers by virtue of the UPI system.
Previously, the international arm of the National Payments Company of India had entered into a partnership with the Paris-based Worldline Payments to enable Indians travelling in Europe to use their UPI and RuPay payment mechanisms for making payments abroad.
NIPL had also partnered with NEOPAY in April 2022, the fintech subsidiary of Mashreq Bank in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for acceptance of UPI across the Emirati kingdom.
Earlier on February 14, 2023, EbixCash Limited, a subsidiary of Ebix, Inc. had announced the launch of the UPI pilot project for foreign nationals visiting India during the G20 summit. The pilot was launched to facilitate foreign nationals visiting India during the G20 summit to pay for goods and services in India using UPI.