Finance

RBI and Singapore central bank to link payment systems by July 2022

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will link their payment systems–Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and PayNow–to enable “instant, low-cost fund transfers” for users.

The RBI and MAS hope to complete the linkage by July 2022 “on a reciprocal basis without a need (for users) to get onboarded onto the other payment system”.

“The UPI-PayNow linkage is a significant milestone in the development of infrastructure for cross-border payments between India and Singapore, and closely aligns with the G20’s financial inclusion priorities of driving faster, cheaper and more transparent cross-border payments,” said the RBI in a statement on Tuesday:

India’s umbrella organisation for retail payments, the National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI’s) international arm NPCI International Private Limited and its counterpart Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) were working on fostering cross-border interoperability of payments using cards and QR codes, between India and Singapore, which will help anchor trade, travel and remittance flows between the two countries.

Launched in 2016, UPI is, by far, the most popular and the most used digital payments platform in India. In August, UPI logged 3.55 billion transactions, which is an all-time high in terms of the volume of transactions the payment platform has recorded since its launch. In value terms, UPI saw transactions worth Rs 6.39 trillion in August, which is again a record high.

UPI has seen tremendous adoption, further accelerated by the Covid-19 outbreak. It crossed 1 billion transactions for the first time in October 2019. UPI is a mobile-based fast payment platform, which facilitates customers to make round-the-clock payments instantly using a Virtual Payment Address (VPA) created by the customer.

PayNow enables peer-to-peer funds transfer service, available to retail customers through participating banks and Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NFIs) in Singapore.

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