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Bhutan Became the 1st Country to Adopt UPI Standards for its QR Deployment

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NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), the international arm of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), in partnership with the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) of Bhutan implemented the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) Unified Payments Interface (UPI) QR-based payments in Bhutan.

  • Through this partnership, Bhutan became the 1st country to adopt India’s UPI standards for its QR deployment and the only country to issue and accept RuPay cards and accept BHIM UPI.
  • The service was initiated in March 2021 and officially launched virtually on July 13, 2021, by Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister of India, in the presence of Lyonpo Namgay Tshering, Finance Minister of Bhutan.

Key points:

i.The collaboration will lead to financial integration between the two economies and it will enable acceptance of UPI powered BHIM App in Bhutan.

ii.The participation of NPCI mobile application through UPI QR transactions will be accepted at all RMA acquired merchants in Bhutan.

iii.The launch will benefit more than 200,000 tourists from India, who are travelling to Bhutan every year.

iv.Participants: Other Participants of the launch include, Dilip Asbe, MD & CEO of NPCI, Dasho Penjore, Governor of RMA of Bhutan, Debasish Panda, Secretary (Department of Financial Services), Ruchira Kamboj, Ambassador of India to Bhutan, General V Namgyel, Ambassador of Bhutan to India, etc.

Note – The launch is the 3rd phase of the project on the Cross-border QR Code Payment linkage between India and Bhutan Rupay and it was also the continuation of the announcements made in the launch of RuPay in Bhutan in 2019.


UPI is an instant payment system developed by NPCI, UPI is built over the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) infrastructure and allows the users to instantly transfer money between any two parties’ bank accounts without revealing details of one’s bank account to the other party.


i.It is a UPI based payment interface app that is used to make real-time fund transfers using a single identity such as a Mobile number or Virtual Payment Address (UPI ID).

ii.Currently BHIM is available in 20 languages and it could also be used to make recurring payments such as mobile bills, electricity bills, OTT subscriptions, insurance, mutual funds, etc.

Recent Related News:

On May 02, 2021, Satin Creditcare Network Limited (SCNL), a Microfinance Institute(MFI) and HSBC India, banking partner of SCNL made a partnership with NPCI to integrate NPCI’s UPI AutoPay platform into its system, to enable fully automated loan Recurring Payments by its customers.

NPCI has onboarded PayCore, Turkey’s global payment solutions company as one of the certified partners for ‘RuPay SoftPOS’ to drive cashless payments across the country.

About Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) of Bhutan: 

It is the central bank of Bhutan that was established under the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan Act of 1982.

Establishment – 1982
Headquarters – Thimphu, Bhutan
Chairman – Dasho Penjore

About NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL):

It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NPCI, devoted to the deployment of NPCI’s indigenous, Real-Time Payment System – UPI and Card Scheme – RuPay, outside India.
Establishment – April 3, 2020
CEO – Ritesh Shukla