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  • 27 February, 2023

  • 5 Min Read

UPI-PayNow Linkage 

UPI-PayNow Linkage

  • Singapore's PayNow and India's UPI have been formally merged.
  • The integration of UPI and PayNow is a significant milestone that will enable frictionless cross-border transactions between the two nations.
  • The first nation with whom cross-border Person to Person (P2P) payment services have been launched in Singapore.
  • The UPI-PayNow collaboration is the first of its kind in the world to include cloud-based infrastructure and involvement from non-bank financial companies.

What are PayNow and UPI?

  • A single smartphone application may instantly and quickly transfer money between two bank accounts using the UPI, or Unified Payments Interface, real-time payment system.
  • A VPA is a special number that is given to a person to make it easier to transfer money using a digital payment system. When making payments, this user-generated identity can be used in place of sensitive bank account information.
  • It removes the danger of the remitter disclosing bank account information. UPI allows users to transfer or receive money and supports both Person-to-Person (P2P) and Person-to-Merchant (P2M) payments.
  • Retail clients in Singapore can use PayNow, a quick payment system, through partnering banks and Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NFIs).
  • With the help of their Foreign Identification Number (FIN), Singapore National Registration Identity Card (NRIC), or mobile number, users can send and receive quick payments from one e-wallet or bank account to another in Singapore.


  • Retail transactions that cross international borders frequently cost more and have less transparency.
  • The establishment of infrastructure for cross-border payments between Singapore and India, therefore, requires the combination of UPI and PayNow.
  • This connection is also closely related to the G20's aims for financial inclusion, which include promoting faster payments, less expensive transactions, and more transparent cross-border payments.
  • The integration intends to make cross-border payments for remittances, trade, and travel between the two countries more efficient, quicker, and transparent.
  • The connectivity enables "real-time payment linkage," which enables quicker and more affordable remittances between the two countries.
  • Since the project enables quicker and more affordable financial transfers between the two nations without the requirement of utilizing the other payment system, it is anticipated to have a significant positive impact on the Indian diaspora in Singapore, particularly migrant workers, and students.
  • According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) report Population of Overseas Indians (2022), there are currently 6.5 lakh Indians living in Singapore, including non-resident Indians and people of Indian descent.
  • According to the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) Remittance Survey, 2021, Singapore's proportion of the total inward remittances to India in 2020–21 was 5.7%.
  • The system's integration will result in a 10% reduction in the cost of sending remittances.

Digital Payments in India:

  • During the fiscal year (FY) 2021–2022, the volume of digital payments in India increased by 33% year over year (YoY). The most popular platform for digital transactions during the period was NPCI's universal payment interface (UPI), which was responsible for 452.75 billion transactions for a total of $8.27 lakh crore up till the end of February.
  • According to NPCI, the overall number of UPI transactions in February 2022 was nearly twice as high as it was a year earlier. 229.2 billion UPI transactions of 4.25 lakh crore were made in February 2021.
  • India has seen a significant increase in the usage of digital payment apps, particularly since the pandemic drove people to stay indoors and place orders for food and other goods via online marketplaces. Many online retailers and aggregator platforms had disabled cash payments in order to prevent interaction with delivery personnel.
  • The most popular UPI app in February 2022 was PhonePe, which had 212 crore transactions. Google Pay came in second with 152.4 crore transactions.
  • Since 2019, India has been the top market for digital payments. With 2550 crore in real-time payments, India was the largest market, followed by China (1570 crore) and South Korea (600 crores). The US was rated ninth with 120 crore transactions.

Source: The Financial Express

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