Overseas UPI payments likely to be operational soon; starting with Singapore, UAE

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) completely transformed the digital payments landscape in India. You can instantly send and receive money using simple VPA (virtual payment address). Now, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is planning to take the UPI payments service global.

Overseas UPI payments detailed

According to a report on The Economic Times, NPCI is planning to expand the payment service globally in the next six months. It will first be available in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Both the countries have already started accepting India’s RuPay cards. They are now in talks to initiate UPI service too.

Taking UPI global will indeed be a big leap, considering both nations have sizeable population of Indian expatriates. Enabling UPI overseas could be a big boost for Indian traveling to these countries. Just like credit and debit cards, users will be able to pay for shopping, food and other expenses via UPI.

Growth of UPI

UPI started with a little over 21 banks on board, and currently has 141 banks. It has emerged as a major digital payments alternative over e-wallets, credit and debit cards. In the month of September 2019, there were 955 million UPI transactions recorded. These transactions were worth over Rs 1.61 lakh crore. On a yearly basis, UPI transactions have increased 2.3 times (roughly 135 percent).

“Many global companies like Facebook, Google and Xiaomi have started entering the UPI payments space, which can boost the use case of UPI payments in other geographies,” said one of the bankers told the publication. In India, popular payments services like Google Pay, Paytm and PhonePe use the UPI facility.

Besides peer-to-peer transfers, UPI also enables schedule payments, and pay to merchants by simply scanning a barcode. The amount is instantly debited from the user account, and debited in the recipient’s account, making the process seamless.

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