Google India Digital Services (P) and NPCI International Payments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) have signed an agreement to expand the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform beyond India.

The MoU seeks to broaden the use of UPI payments for travellers outside India and enable them to make transactions abroad. It intends to assist in establishing UPI-like digital payment systems in other countries, providing a model for seamless financial transactions and focusing on easing the process of remittances between countries by utilising the UPI infrastructure to simplify cross-border financial exchanges.

This will help accelerate UPI’s global acceptance, provide foreign merchants access to Indian customers and allow customers to no longer rely only on foreign currency and/or credit or forex cards.

Strategic partnership

“This strategic partnership will not only simplify foreign transactions for Indian travelers but will also allow us to extend our knowledge and expertise of operating a successful digital payments ecosystem to other countries. We are also excited about enabling a seamless and more connected international remittance network by further expanding UPI’s cross-border interoperability feature,” said Ritesh Shukla, CEO – NPCI International Payments.

Last week, NPCI had announced that major UPI applications have been enabled to receive instant, secure and cost effective remittances from Singapore via UPI-PayNow linkage, directly into their bank accounts.

The facility is available 24/7, 365 days a year and can be accessed by users of BHIM, PhonePe, and Paytm apps. Additionally, banks such as Axis Bank, DBS Bank India, ICICI Bank, Indian Bank, Indian Overseas Bank and State Bank of India provide this functionality through their respective apps.

More Third-Party Application Providers (TPAPs) and 13 PSU and private bank applications are expected to be added to the linkage soon, it had said, adding that this will broaden the range of choices offered to customers.