- February 24, 2023
UPI goes global
Starting on February 21, Indians now have the option of using digital payment platforms like Google Pay and PayTM to transfer money to their friends, colleagues, and relatives in Singapore, thanks to the integration of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) with PayNow. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong will witness the launch of this cross-border connectivity via videoconferencing, alongside Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das and Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
By linking these two real-time payment systems, faster and more cost-efficient money transfers will be enabled. This integration is expected to benefit the Indian diaspora in Singapore, particularly migrant workers and students, by providing instant and low-cost money transfers between the two countries. The Centre believes that this move will facilitate cross-border remittances and allow for quicker and cheaper transactions for both countries’ residents.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) document, “Population of Overseas Indians (2022),” there are 6.5 lakh Indians residing in Singapore, including non-resident Indians and persons of Indian origin.
This initiative will have several advantages such as customers outside India (in Singapore) will experience world-class payment infrastructure. This will witness the globalisation of India’s best-in-class digital payment infrastructure.
Residents of both countries will be able to make faster and cost-effective money movements between the two countries and they also will be able to make merchant payments using Scan QR services.
According to Chirag Taneja, co-founder of Gokwik, the integration of UPI and PayNow marks a significant moment for cross-border e-commerce. He believes that this new connection will create an environment for digital-first transactions to expand seamlessly, empowering businesses and individuals with frictionless transactions across borders. Taneja added that this initiative will help solve major challenges that businesses face, such as cost, security, time, liquidity, and transparency, enabling more businesses to expand their reach in other markets.
Dileep Seinberg, founder and CEO of MuffinPay, also praised the initiative, saying that it will open a new gateway for UPI-enabled Fintech platforms. He believes that this move will bring about a profound change in how payments and purchases are made around the world, acting as a strong catalyst for innovation in the industry.
A spokesperson for Paytm, the mobile payments service, welcomed the UPI-PayNow real-time payment system linkage between India and Singapore, stating that it will enable low-cost, instantaneous, and 24X7 fund transfers. Paytm will continue to innovate to ensure the earliest availability of UPI-based cross-border payments for all.