RBI and NPCI working to expand UPI to 20 countries by 2029 shows central bank’s annual report

As per the RBI's Annual Report, the central bank, along with NPCI International Payments aim to take UPI to 20 countries with an initiation timeline of 2024-25 and completion timeline of 2028-29.

Livemint
First Published1 Jun 2024
The Payments Vision Document 2025 of RBI has outlined expanding the global outreach of UPI and RuPay cards as one of the key objectives under the internationalisation pillar.
The Payments Vision Document 2025 of RBI has outlined expanding the global outreach of UPI and RuPay cards as one of the key objectives under the internationalisation pillar. (Unsplash)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and NPCI International Payments (NIPL) plan to extend the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to 20 countries by the FY29, as per an ANI report. According to the RBI Annual Report, efforts will be made to expand the global presence of UPI and RuPay.

“In light of goals for Viksit Bharat 2047, the Reserve Bank, along with NIPL will work towards taking UPI to 20 countries with initiation timeline of 2024-25 and completion timeline of 2028-29,” the report said.

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Collaborations and Linkages

The RBI report mentions the possibility of collaborating with countries in the European Union and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), as well as exploring multilateral linkages for the Fast Payment System (FPS).

The Payments Vision Document 2025 by the RBI has identified the international expansion of UPI and RuPay cards as a key objective. The RBI is in discussions with various central banks to form collaborative arrangements, the report added.

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Recent Developments

In July 2023, the RBI and the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to link their payment infrastructures. This agreement includes linking India's UPI with UAE's Instant Payment Platform (IPP) called Aani and their respective card switches (RuPay switch and UAESWITCH).

In February 2024, RuPay cards and UPI connectivity between India and Mauritius was launched. This allows Indian travellers in Mauritius to pay merchants using UPI apps and vice versa for Mauritian travellers in India.

Similarly, in February 2024, UPI connectivity between India and Sri Lanka was established, enabling Indian travellers to make QR code-based payments at merchant locations in Sri Lanka using UPI apps.

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Future Prospects & Existing UPI Tie-Ups

The RBI and Nepal Rastra Bank are exploring the linkage of India's UPI platform and Nepal's National Payments Interface for cross-border payments. In June 2023, NIPL and Nepal Clearing House Ltd. (NCHL) signed a MoU for this purpose.

Currently, UPI payments through QR codes are accepted for merchant (e-commerce) payments in France and Nepal. India has various tie-ups with seven countries for UPI payments.

(With inputs from ANI)

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