RBI, Monetary Authority Singapore announce project to link UPI and PayNow

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has tied up with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to link its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) with Singapore’s PayNow for instant money transfer, the Indian central bank said on September 14.

The linking, which will be operationalized by July 2022, will enable users to make instant, low-cost fund transfers on a reciprocal basis without the need to onboard onto the other payment system, the RBI said.

“The UPI-PayNow linkage is a significant milestone in the development of infrastructure for cross-border payments between India and Singapore, and closely aligns with the G20’s financial priorities of driving faster, cheaper and more transparent cross-border payments,” the RBI said.

PayNow enables peer-to-peer funds transfer service and is available to retail customers through participating banks and non-bank financial institutions (NFIs) in Singapore.

It allows users to send and receive funds from a bank or an e-wallet account by using just a mobile number, Singapore NRIC/FIN, or VPA (virtual payment address), the RBI said.

The UPI-PayNow tie-up upon the earlier efforts of NPCI International Private Limited and Network for Electronic Transfer to foster cross-border interoperability of payments using cards and QR codes between India and Singapore and, RBI said.

It will further anchor trade, travel, and remittance flow between the two countries.

The initiative is also in line with its vision of reviewing corridors and charges for inbound cross-border remittances outlined in the Payment Systems Vision Document, the RBI said.