India in talks with 30 countries to adopt UPI, a few MoUs already signed

India in talks UPI
Image by pixxelstudio91 | Bigstockphoto

India wants to take its home-grown digital payments technology, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), to the global market and has initiated talks with 30 countries, with three countries having already signed MoUs to explore UPI adoption.

India’s Minister for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) Ashwini Vaishnaw made the announcement during the inauguration of Digital India Week 2022, saying that France, the United Arab Emirates, and Singapore were the first three countries to sign MoUs regarding UPI.

UPI is an instant real-time payment system developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The system combines multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (from any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing and merchant payments under one hood.

The minister said that UPI helped in avoiding the creation of monopolies in the digital services sector.

In the first quarter of 2022, UPI has clocked over 14.55 billion transactions in volume and Rs 26.19 trillion in terms of value, according to the India Digital Payments Report by Worldline.

UPI transactions volume and value has almost doubled since last year recording about 99% increase in volume and over 90% increase in value compared to Q1 2021, the report added.

NPCI International signed an MoU in June with Lyra Network of France to accept UPI and RuPay Cards in the country. It has previously partnered with several institutions in Nepal, the UAE, Singapore, Japan and China.

NPCI is reportedly working on establishing UPI as a channel for making cross-border remittances.

“The entire world is attracted by UPI and in fact, it has been appreciated by everyone, including the World Bank,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during his inaugural address at the event. “Our digital solutions are scalable, secure and democratic.”

1,30,000 UPI transactions are recorded every minute in the country, Modi revealed, adding that 40% of the world’s digital transactions happen in India.

The UPI currently has 330 banks linked to it, with an average ticket size around Rs 1,730 ($21.81) per transaction.

PhonePe, Google Pay, Paytm Payments Bank app, Amazon Pay and Axis bank app are some top UPI Apps in terms of volume. PhonePe, Google Pay and Paytm accounted for 94.8% of UPI transactions volume and 93% of UPI transactions value as of March 2022.

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