The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) have inked a significant Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch the Rupay debit card in Oman, paving way in a new era of financial connectivity.
- The proposal comes after India and Oman agreed to expand the Indian digital payment ecosystem to the Gulf region.
i.On October 3–4, 2022, Union Minister V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State (MoS), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), made an official visit to the Sultanate of Oman.
ii.Following his visit in 2020, this was his second trip to Oman, and it was part of a regular exchange of high-level visits to underline the shared commitment to the expanding ties between India and Oman.
Significance of the MoU
i.The MoU will set the stage for Indian RuPay cards and the UPI platform in Oman to facilitate seamless digital remittances, which will benefit Indian workers and professionals.
ii.According to the Indian Embassy in Oman, there are about 624,000 Indians in Oman, of which about 4,83,901 are workers and professionals as of May 2021.
iii.According to the most recent NPCI data, UPI transactions increased by over 3% to Rs. 678 crore in September 2022 from Rs. 657 crore in August 2022.
iv.In September 2022, UPI recorded a new all-time high in transaction volume, totaling Rs. 11.16 lakh crore.
India –Oman Ties
i.India and Oman have the longest-standing strategic ties in the Gulf region.
ii.Oman supports Indian Naval deployments in the western Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf as a close defence and strategic partner.
iii.The amount of trade between India and Oman is increasing, with total trade reaching around USD 10 billion in FY 2021–22.
iv.Additionally, with investments totaling more than USD 7.5 billion, India is one of the largest investors in Oman.
Other Countries That Accept RuPay & UPI Payments
i.Countries that accept UPI and RuPay Cards include Singapore, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bhutan, Malaysia, and France.
ii.India and Australia are in advanced talks to swiftly integrate UPI into the Australian New Payment Platform.
iii.The Russian Federation has shown interest in incorporating the UPI and Faster Payments System (FPS) offered by the Central Bank of Russia into their respective national payment infrastructures.
iv.In September 2021, an agreement to introduce a UPI-based QR code payment system in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan starting in 2022 was signed between Liquid Group and NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL).
Other Highlights of MoS’s Visit to Oman
i.MoS V. Muraleedharan paid a visit to the Oman Investment Authority, where he met with Executive President Abdulsalam Al Murshidi.
ii.He had a meeting with Sayyid Badr Albusaidi, Oman’s Foreign Minister.
iii.He also paid a visit to the Krishna Temple in Muscat, Oman.
iv.He inaugurated a newly built library at the Indian Embassy in Oman.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Oman in 2018, and External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar visited in 2019.
- Recently, Oman’s Foreign Minister, Sayyid Badr al-Busaidi, visited India in March 2022, and Oman’s Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Investment Promotion, Qais bin Mohammed al-Yousef, visited India in May 2022.
Recent Related News:
In August 2022, NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of NPCI has signed an MoU with PayXpert, London-based payments solutions provider, to internationalize the acceptance of its payment solutions, UPI and the RuPay card, in the United Kingdom (UK).
About Sultanate of Oman:
Sultan of Oman – Sultan Haitham bin Tarik
Capital – Muscat
Currency – Oman Rial (OMR)