From paying power bills online to scanning QR codes at tea shops, the United Payments Interface (UPI) has become a part of daily life in India. Launched in 2016, UPI grew to facilitate more than 2,000 digital transactions every day in 2022, with such services reaching 40 per cent Indians. Recently, UPI went international to facilitate transactions between India and Singapore, and expansion into three more countries is on the cards.
Reports are suggesting that Indians will soon be able to make seamless payments via smartphones to the UAE, Mauritius and Indonesia as well. Currently Indians are able to send money to family and friends, along with colleagues in Singapore, via Paytm, Google Pay and PhonePe after UPI and PayNow were linked. The report comes days after the PM mentioned how several countries have expressed interest in similar arrangements with India for UPI-enabled cross-border payments.
The service is essential for more than three lakh people of Indian origin who live in Singapore, and more than six lakh who visited the country from India in 2022. Thousands of Indian startups, including big names such as Flipkart and PhonePe have also moved their headquarters to Singapore.
The UAE also has about 28 lakh Indian expats living and working in the country, and UPI will make it easier to send remittances. UPI has also been rolled out for NRIs in 10 countries, to speed up real-time overseas transactions.
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