scorecardThree Indian digital payment platforms go international with their Singapore launch
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Three Indian digital payment platforms go international with their Singapore launch

Three Indian digital payment platforms go international with their Singapore launch
Tech2 min read

  • BHIM, RuPay and State Bank of India (SBI) app were launched in Singapore by PM Modi at the ‘Business, Innovation and Community Event’.
  • RuPay is linked to Singapore’s own system, the Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS).
  • SBI’s Singapore branch launched a new rupee remittance mode for its customers in-line with the United Payments Interface (UPI).

India’s own mobile payment apps have crossed the ocean to reach the borders of Singapore. In fact, BHIM, RuPay and the State Bank of India (SBI) app were the main highlights at the ‘Business, Innovation and Community Event’ held on the South Asian island. Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it marks a significant increase in the global outreach of India’s own digital payment platforms.

In the marriage of systems, India’s RuPay digital payments are now linked into Singapore’s own Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS). What that means for users is that they can make payments using RuPay on any of the NETS access points across the island country.

Flipping that equation, Singapore users on NETS will be able to make online purchases on any e-commerce merchant website that’s integrated with the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI). That’s essentially 2.8 million points of sale that support RuPay transactions.

Why does it matter?

The cross-interaction of these two systems could potentially lead to multi-billion dollar transactions according to experts in the industry. Especially, since the volume of travel between Singapore and India amounts to some five million people either passing through or stopping over.

Even overall, India leads in the world in the number of migrants abroad. The disparity between the number of people going out of India, and the amount coming in is huge. It’s one of the reasons why Indian migrants send home more money than citizens from any other country.

That’s why SBI’s Singapore branch launched a new rupee remittance mode for its customers, which is tied in with the United Payment Interface (UPI). It’s first SBI branch to do so and an important step towards cross-border usage.

According to the Soma Sankara Prasad, the Country Head for SBI in Singapore, the new feature of the SBI app will yield the most utility for blue-collar workers. Using a Virtual Payment Address (VPA), any savings account holder at SBI Singapore can send remittances of up to ₹100,000.

Introducing the country’s digital payment platform into the international arena could even be considered to be a step towards improving the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in India. Currently, India ranks at 100 out of the 190 countries that are taken into consideration.

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