India's Unified Payments Interface (UPI) technology will now be accepted in neighbouring Sri Lanka.
Several agreements, including that of UPI's acceptance in the island country, were exchanged between India and Sri Lanka in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe in the national capital on Friday.
The prime minister said firming up of an agreement for launch of the UPI payment system in Sri Lanka will result in fintech connectivity between the two sides.
The past one year has been full of challenges for the people of Sri Lanka, he said, adding that being a close friend, as always, India stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Sri Lanka.
In his comments, Modi said the security interests and development of India and Sri Lanka are intertwined and it is necessary to work together keeping in mind each other's security interests and sensitivities.
Modi said a vision document for economic partnership has been adopted.
He said the vision is to accelerate mutual cooperation in areas of tourism, power, trade, higher education, skill development and connectivity.
The vision is to strengthen maritime, air, energy and people-to-people connectivity between the people of both the countries, he said.
Modi also said that it was decided that talks will start soon on an agreement on economic and technological cooperation.
He also hoped that the Sri Lankan government would fulfil the aspirations of the Tamil community.
Modi said a feasibility study will be conducted on the India-Sri Lanka petroleum pipeline.
On the fishermen issue, the prime minister said it should be handled under a humanitarian approach.
In his remarks, the Sri Lankan president said, "We believe that India's growth would be beneficial to the neighbourhood and Indian Ocean Region."
UPI in other countries
UPI payments system has become hugely popular for retail digital payments in India, and its adoption is increasing at a rapid pace.
So far, France, UAE, and Singapore had partnered with India on the emerging fintech and payment solutions. Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is India's mobile-based fast payment system, which facilitates customers to make round-the-clock payments instantly, using a Virtual Payment Address (VPA) created by the customer.
Singapore and India sign agreement to link payments
In February 2023, India and Singapore signed an agreement to link their respective payment systems, allowing users in either country to make cross-border transactions. People in both the countries will be able to send money real-time via QR-code based or simply by entering mobile numbers linked to the bank account.
France to use UPI
Earlier this month, France had agreed to use Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payment mechanism. It will begin from the iconic and tourist hotspot Eiffel Tower.
Also, a MoU was exchanged to interlink the payment and messaging systems between the Reserve Bank of India and the Central Bank of the UAE. It will facilitate the integration of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of India and the Instant Payments Platform (IPP) of the UAE.
India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing ecosystems for fintech innovation and the PM Modi-led government has been instrumental in driving the globalisation of India's digital payment infrastructure.
A key emphasis of the Indian government has been on ensuring that the benefits of UPI are not limited to India only, but other countries, too, benefit from it.
Taking into account the popularity of the UPI payment system, the Reserve Bank of India proposed to permit all inbound travellers to India to use UPI for their merchant payments while they are in the country.
To begin with, the facility will be extended to travellers from G20 countries arriving at "select international airports". On February 8, the RBI governor Skaktikanta Das made the announcement while deliberating upon the outcome of the three-day monetary policy committee meeting.
With inputs from Agencies.