India’s UPI and Singapore’s PayNow linked to enable faster and cost-efficient cross-border remittances

India’s UPI and Singapore’s PayNow linked to enable faster and cost-efficient cross-border remittances

On 21 February, India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Singapore’s PayNow were linked, allowing faster and more cost-efficient cross-border remittances between the two countries.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officiated the launch, where Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Managing Director Ravi Menon demonstrated a live cross-border fund transfer.

This PayNow-UPI linkage marks a milestone in India-Singapore relations and supports India’s G20 Presidency priorities to improve the cost, speed, access and transparency of cross-border payments.G20’s financial inclusion priorities of driving faster, cheaper, and more transparent cross-border payments.

It is the world’s first real-time payment systems linkage to use a scalable cloud-based infrastructure that can accommodate future increases in the volume of remittance traffic. It is also the first linkage to feature a non-bank financial institution as a participant.

The linkage provides a safe, simple, and cost-effective way for customers of participating financial institutions in Singapore and India to send and receive funds between bank accounts or e-wallets in real-time, using just the mobile phone number, UPI identity, or Virtual Payment Address.

With 650,000 Indians residing in Singapore, including non-resident Indians and persons of Indian origin, the linkage of UPI and PayNow is expected to benefit the Indian diaspora in Singapore, including migrant workers and students, by facilitating instantaneous and low-cost transfer of money from Singapore to India and vice versa.

Initially, the service will be available to Singapore customers of DBS Bank and Liquid Group, with Indian customers of all participating Indian banks able to receive funds through the service from the onset. Sending of funds is limited to customers of four Indian banks at the time of launch, with this scope to be gradually expanded.

Participating financial institutions have committed to ensuring that the service is cost-efficient and accessible, including to foreign workers and students residing in Singapore and India, enabling them to make and receive low-cost cross-border remittances back to and from their home countries. The linkage also provides for automatic incorporation of capital control rules for enhanced efficiency.

MAS and RBI will review and progressively scale the linkage by increasing the number of participating financial institutions, as well as applicable use cases.

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