Google Pay India, NPCI International Join Forces for Expansion of UPI Beyond Borders

During the G20 Summit in India, numerous delegates not only commended but actively utilised the digital payment ecosystem, emphasising UPI’s role in transforming the Indian financial landscape. (Shutterstock)

The partnership seeks to broaden the utilisation of UPI payments for travellers outside of India, facilitating convenient transactions abroad

Google India Digital Services (P) Limited, the entity behind Google Pay India, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), for the global expansion of Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

The focus of this partnership is to extend the transformative impact of UPI beyond Indian borders. In terms of key objectives firstly, it seeks to broaden the utilisation of UPI payments for travellers outside of India, facilitating convenient transactions abroad.

Secondly, the collaboration aims to assist in establishing UPI-like digital payment systems in other countries, providing a model for seamless financial transactions. Lastly, the focus is on simplifying cross-border financial exchanges by utilising the UPI infrastructure, streamlining the process of remittances between countries.

These objectives are poised to accelerate UPI’s global acceptance, allowing foreign merchants’ access to Indian customers who will no longer be restricted to foreign currency, credit cards, or forex cards for digital payments.

Instead, they will have the option to use UPI-powered apps from India, including Google Pay. This initiative aligns with NPCI’s commitment to bolstering India’s position in the global digital payment landscape, providing a more inclusive and accessible platform.

Deeksha Kaushal, Director, Partnerships, Google Pay India, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating: “Google Pay has been a proud and willing collaborator to NPCI and the financial ecosystem, under the regulator’s guidance, and this collaboration is another step towards our commitment to making payments simple, safe and convenient.”

He added: “UPI has demonstrated to the world the step change that happens in economies with the introduction of interoperable, population-scale digital infrastructure and each economy that joins such networks will create an impact beyond the sum of parts. We are very excited about the scope of this collaboration.”

Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), emphasised the strategic importance of the partnership. He said: “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.”

He said: “We are also excited about enabling a seamless and more connected international remittance network by further expanding UPI’s cross-border interoperability feature. With the success of UPI in a dynamic market like India we are excited to further our vision to transform the digital payments landscape globally.”

During the G20 Summit in India, numerous delegates not only commended but actively utilised the digital payment ecosystem, emphasising UPI’s role in transforming the Indian financial landscape towards a cashless society and increased financial inclusion.

This success has sparked interest from several countries looking to implement a similar digital payment ecosystem in their regions. Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw revealed that India has signed MoUs with many nations seeking to adopt the UPI interface for digital payments.

Bhutan was the first to embrace UPI, and an integration with Singapore’s PayNow was established for faster transfers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an agreement with France for UPI usage, while a pact between the Central Bank of Oman and NPCI paved the way for UPI transactions across platforms. Similarly, Nepal enabled real-time UPI payments, and NIPL partnered with NEOPAY in the UAE to facilitate UPI payments.

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