Foreign Currency

Forex cards on their way out? Google Pay ties up with NPCI for expansion of UPI across the globe

Google India Digital Services has joined hands with the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) to enable UPI to expand its footprint across the globe.

The partnership has been sealed via an MoU (memorandum of understanding) that has three key objectives. First is to broaden the use of UPI payments for travellers outside of India, enabling them to conveniently make transactions abroad. Second, to assist in establishing UPI-like digital payment systems in other countries. Third, enabling the cross-border money transfer by leveraging the UPI infrastructure.

It is believed that these objectives will help accelerate UPI’s global acceptance, providing foreign merchants access to Indian customers who will no longer have to rely on foreign currency and/or credit or forex cards for making digital payments and will have the option of using UPI powered apps such as Google Pay.

To simplify remittances

It is believed that the MoU will contribute to simplifying remittances by reducing dependence on conventional money transfer channels.

Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NPCI International Payments, said that the company is teaming up with Google Pay to propel UPI onto the global stage.

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

Deeksha Kaushal, Director, Partnerships, Google Pay India, said, “We are delighted to support NIPL towards expanding the reach of UPI to international markets…this collaboration is another step towards our commitment to making payments simple, safe and convenient.”

Moving forward

Notably, India’s UPI has been expanding its reach since last year to different countries around the world including Singapore, France, Sri Lanka and UAE. Initially, UPI was connected to Singapore’s PayNow in Feb last year to enable cross border money transfer instantly. The UPI facility was later transferred to France.

During his visit to France, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced UPI from Eiffel Tower, enabling Indian tourists to make payment in Indian currency while travelling in France. After Singapore, UAE and France, India’s mobile-based instant payment system reached its south Asian neighbour Sri Lanka in July last year.

Last year, trade ministers of India and New Zealand also held discussions to introduce UPI in the island country.

In October last year, Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NPCI International Payments, said that the number of countries where UPI is live is expected to double within the next 12-18 months.

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