The Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the real-time bank-to-bank money transfer system developed and maintained by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) gained support for integration with its counterpart in Singapore, PayNow. Customers will be able to quickly send funds to and from the two countries at cheaper rates. Both UPI and PayNow offer similar features, including the ability to pay other users or request fund using only the sender or recipient’s mobile phone number or a virtual payment address. 

The launch and linkage of cross-border connectivity for both UPI and PayNow was announced on Wednesday by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Managing Director Ravi Menon.

Here are five points on the newly launched integration.

  1. Singapore is the first country to allow cross-border Person to Person (P2P) payments with users in India and these cross-border payments can be completed using smartphones.
  2. The UPI-PayNow integration between India and Singapore will allow for faster, low-cost transfer of funds between users in India and Singapore, as long as they are registered users of one of the payment systems.
  3. Both UPI and PayNow allow users to send and receive funds via bank-to-bank transfers, and the sender and recipient can identify each other using their mobile numbers or VPA. This eliminates the need to share bank details with the recipient, which improves the privacy and safety of users participating in the transaction.
  4. According to details shared by the RBI announcing the new integration, select merchant outlets in Singapore have already begun accepting UPI payments through the use of QR codes.
  5. The system to integrate the payment mechanisms for both countries could also come in handy for remittances, and other regular payments for students and migrant workers from India in Singapore and vice versa.

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