UPI Integration with PayNow To Go Live Soon, Enabling Low-Cost Fund Transfers

UPI-Paynow Linkage - Paytm for Business

The much-awaited integration of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) – India’s real-time payment system with Singapore’s PayNow is expected to go live very soon. Sopnendu Mohanty – Chief Fintech Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) told the news about it on Jan 9, 2023, on the sidelines of the G20 First Working Group Meet around global partnership for financial inclusion in Kolkata. He also confirmed that:

“Integration of UPI with Singapore’s PayNow is ready and just waiting for an official launch.”

Once implemented, the UPI-PayNow linkage is expected to enable individuals to make low-cost, instant fund transfers from one bank account to another between India and Singapore. To be precise, the project implementation can bring down the cost of remittances by around 10%. Mr. Mohanty also said that working on the legal hurdles, data-sharing regulations, and cost barriers for adoption are more complex issues than the technological aspects.

UPI-PayNow linkage – what’s in it for the end users?

UPI integration with PayNow will enable consumers to make fund transfers using mobile numbers from India to Singapore. The reverse route to send payments from Singapore to India will be active using UPI VPA (Virtual Payment Address). Ultimately, it is expected to result in a higher volume of remittance traffic, automation of capital control rules, and multi-entity participation. 

This linkage acts as a major milestone in the process of developing next-gen payment infrastructure for cross-border payments between India and Singapore. Also, it is closely aligned with the financial inclusion priorities of the G20 Summit to drive faster, cheaper, and more transparent payment processing across borders.

NPCI’s take on the UPI road ahead

NPCI CEO and MD Dilip Asbe also stated that three-four other countries have expressed their intent to UPI adoption and it would take 2-3 years for the successful implementation of UPI with their native payment infrastructure. They will receive the technical know-how and software along with handholding support from India as per the MoUs signed. 

Furthermore, the payments corporation is also working to bring down the cost of the UPI platform to under $1 million to further enhance its global adoption. This will be quite beneficial for low-income countries to step forward and adopt digital payments at scale.

Envisioning the fruit of the global Finternet

Further elaborating on the extension of UPI integration with PayNow, Pramod Verma, Chief Architect, Aadhaar and India Stack, said similar interoperability and integration are likely to happen with Dubai and some other countries in the near future. 

He also said that the Digital Public Infrastructure needs to harness three key pillars – the creation of a level playing ground, a push toward competitiveness and innovation, and enhanced productivity. The global Finternet which is led by G20 members requires sharing open policies and protocols to allow real-time financial networks across countries to become interoperable globally.

More about UPI’s current accomplishments in line with PayNow integration

Indeed, the Unified Payments Interface, popularly known as UPI, has emerged as one of the most popular Indian products that can be utilized by foreign countries for seamless money transfers. The recent record of UPI reaching 782 crore transactions in Dec 2022 indicates the potential this payment interface has for the masses.

While the project for UPI integration with PayNow was announced by the RBI in 2022, the implementation process is now in full swing. In fact, The NPCI has created a separate arm – NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) for UPI deployment at the global scale. The new arm has already marked its foray into European markets in the form of a tie-up with Worldline – French digital payments platform, and many others.

How can businesses benefit from UPI integration with PayNow?

Easy, secure payment transfer from one bank account to another – this has led to the tremendous growth of UPI in our country. When the same will happen for cross-border payments to Singapore, it will most likely help Indian businesses sell beyond the national boundaries and attract potential consumers from Singapore. On the other hand, it will also open ways for Indian consumers to buy from Singapore-based brands in different categories without facing any payment-related hassle.

Recommended Read: 5 Benefits Of Enabling Global Customers To Pay in their Home Currency

As a result, the ease of payment transfer from India to Singapore backed by this linkage will drive further adoption of digital payments. 

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