The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Reserve Bank of India have announced plans to link Singapore’s PayNow and India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) real-time payment systems by July 2022.
The PayNow-UPI linkage will enable users to make instant, low cost fund transfers directly from one bank account to another between Singapore and India. When implemented, fund transfers can be made from India to Singapore using mobile phone numbers, and from Singapore to India using UPI virtual payment addresses (VPA). The experience of making a PayNow transfer to a UPI VPA will be similar to that of a domestic transfer to a PayNow VPA.
The linkage will provision for increased volumes of remittance traffic, multi-entity participation, automation of capital control rules, and enriched message formats to accommodate future innovation by linkage participants. These enhancements constitute a significant upgrade to the design of cross-border payment systems today.
The connectivity between PayNow and UPI is a major milestone in the development of next-generation infrastructure for cross-border payments between Singapore and India, and is closely aligned with the G20’s financial inclusion priorities of driving faster, cheaper and more transparent cross-border payments. The PayNow-UPI linkage builds upon the earlier efforts of NETS and NPCI International Private Limited (NIPL) to foster cross-border interoperability of card and QR payments, and will further anchor the substantial trade, travel and remittance flows between the two countries.
Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS, said, “By reducing the cost and inefficiencies of remittances between Singapore and India, the PayNow-UPI linkage will directly benefit individuals and businesses in Singapore and India that greatly rely on this mode of payment. Given that PayNow and UPI are integral components of their respective national digital infrastructures, the link between the two systems also paves the way for establishing more comprehensive digital connectivity and interoperability between the two countries.”