The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) was introduced six years ago as a payment method in India. Within these six years, UPI has become a revolution in the financial lives of Indians, and most importantly, and as a matter of pride, it is being adopted by other countries as well. Especially this year, the finance ministry of India, the RBI, and the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) have signed deals with various countries to encourage UPI adaptation abroad. Some of the countries that have embraced the various forms of Indian payment systems include the UAE, France, Singapore, Oman, and Bhutan, among others. Europe has been the latest region to accept the payment systems of India.
A few countries that have adopted the UPI system of India have been curated below:
- Bhutan: In July 2021, the first country to adopt UPI standards for its QR deployment was Bhutan, and it became the first country in India’s immediate neighborhood to accept mobile-based payments through the BHIM App. According to the press release, NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) of Bhutan, and the International Arm of the National Payments Cooperation of India collaborated to enable and implement BHIM-UPI QR-based payments in Bhutan.
- Nepal: In the early phase of this year, in March, Nepal too deployed the UPI payment systems of India. According to the press release, a month before March, NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), the international arm of NPCI, joined hands with the Gateway Payments Service Pvt Ltd, authorized payment system operators in Nepal, and Manam Infotech Private Limited to implement the UPI payment system in Nepal for the larger digital public welfare and to bolster merchant payment transactions (P2M) and interoperable real-time person-to-person (P2P) transactions in Nepal. It has ensured that this collaboration will enable the last-mile consumers in Nepal to utilize the benefits of an open, interoperable payments system that drives immediate payment transfers between bank accounts and merchant payments in real time. It has also paved the way for real-time cross-border P2P remittances between India and Nepal.
- Oman: In October 2022, Oman joined many other countries in adopting the UPI payment system for digital transactions across platforms. This collaboration comes after Muscat and New Delhi reached a consensus on expanding the Indian digital payment ecosystem to the Gulf region. The NPCI and the Central Bank of Oman recently signed a formal agreement for this collaboration.
- UAE: NPCI International Payments Ltd. (NIPL), the international arm of the National Payment Corporation of India, announced in April 2022 that the BHIM UPI was now available at NeoPay terminals across the UAE. This development will empower the millions of Indians who travel to the UAE and who will now safely and conveniently make payments using the BHIM UPI. NIPL and NEOPAY, the payment subsidiaries of Mashreq Bank, partnered last year to initiate the acceptance of infrastructure in the UAE. This has enabled Indian subsidiaries to make payments through BHIM UPI across NEOPAY-enabled shops and merchant stores.
- France: A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in June this year between NIPL
and France-based payments solution provider Lyra Network, Union Communications and Electronics, and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw made this announcement during his visit to France for the Viva Technology 2022 event. However, the intricacies of how the UPI payment system will operate in France are yet to be clearly stated.
India has been in talks with 30 other countries regarding UPI, according to the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnav.