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India & Singapore Introduce Live Cross-Border UPI-PayNow Connectivity

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PM Modi & Singapore's Lee Hsien Loong launch cross-border linkage between UPI, PayNowThe Prime Minister (PM) of India, Narendra Modi, and the Prime Minister (PM) of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, took part in the virtual launch of real-time payment linkage between the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of India and PayNow of Singapore.

  • The integration of UPI and PayNow marks a significant shift in India-Singapore relations.

Shaktikanta Das, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and Ravi Menon, Managing Director (MD) of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, launched the UPI-PayNow linkage by performing live cross-border transactions on their respective mobile phones.


i.The PayNow-UPI linkage is India’s first and Singapore’s second cross-border real-time payment system linkage.

ii.Singapore is the first country to introduce a cross-border person-to-person (P2P) payment service.

iii.It is also the first such linkage in the world to incorporate cloud-based infrastructure and non-bank financial institutions.

Key Points:  

i.The integration of the PayNow and UPI payment systems will allow people of both countries to transfer cross-border remittances more quickly and efficiently.

  • It will help the Indian diaspora in Singapore, especially migrant workers/students.
  • It will provide businesses and consumers with cheaper, faster, and safer cross-border retail payments and transfers directly between bank accounts or e-wallets.
  • Over USD 1 billion in cross-border retail payments and remittances are made every year between Singapore and India.

ii.Funds in bank accounts or e-wallets in India can be transferred with just the UPI identity, a mobile number, or a Virtual Payment Address (VPA).

iii.UPI payments through Quick Response (QR) codes are already accepted at select merchant outlets in Singapore.

iv.In 2018, Singapore’s Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) collaborated with India’s NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL) to enable card and QR code payments between Singapore and India.

  • NIPL was incorporated in 2020 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

Recent Related News:

i.In January 2023, the NPCI allowed UPI transactions for non-resident bank accounts like Non-Residential External (NRE) and Non- Resident Ordinary (NRO) linked to international mobile numbers.

ii.Initially, the transactions from mobile numbers of 10 countriesSingapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, United States of America(USA), Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United Kingdom (UK) – will be enabled. This means Non-resident Indians (NRIs) from these countries can transact through UPI.

About Republic of Singapore:

Prime Minister – Lee Hsien Loong
Capital – Singapore
Currency – Singapore Dollar (SGD)