Right after PhonePe launched a feature to allow its users to make international payments in select countries, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das announced on Wednesday that it has proposed to extend the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for merchant payments for travelers that are coming from abroad. For now the service will be permitted to travellers from G20 countries at selected international airports.
Machine to vent coins
Das also talked about a pilot project where a machine will vend coins based on QR codes. This project will be launched by the RBI in 12 cities and will issue coins to customers by directly debiting them from their UPI accounts instead of using bank notes.
This, according to him, will enhance the ease of accessibility to coins. Additionally, based on the lessons learned from the pilot, new guidelines will be issued to banks on how to distribute coins using these machines.
UPI to pay abroad
On February 7, PhonePe became the first Indian fintech platform to allow Indian travelers to make international payments to foreign merchants using UPI. The system is similar to the workings of international debit cards, where the amount equivalent to the foreign currency is deducted from the user's bank account.
Payments at all merchant outlets in the UAE, Mauritius, Singapore, Bhutan, and Nepal will be possible, and they will have a local QR code for the process.
On Wednesday, the RBI hiked the repo rate by 25 basis points, which will push the banks to increase the interest rates on loans.
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