India and Singapore on Tuesday linked their real-time digital payments system at an online ceremony, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi terming it a new milestone in the bilateral relations.
Prime Minister Modi and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong witnessed the launch of cross-border connectivity between the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of India and PayNow of Singapore via video conferencing.
“A new milestone in India-Singapore relations as we link real-time digital payments systems,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
He said the friendship between both nations is very old, and has withstood the test of time. “Our people-to-people relations have been its mainstay,” he said.
He said the launch of the UPI-PayNow Link today is a much- awaited gift to the citizens of both the countries.
He said the real-time linking of the digital payments systems has opened a new chapter in cross-border FinTech connectivity.
“From today onwards, people in India and Singapore will be able to transfer money from their mobile phones in the same way as they do within their own countries,” he said.
PM Modi said the Digital India campaign has also made possible unprecedented reforms in governance and public service delivery, which was also seen during the Covid pandemic when the government was able to transfer money directly to the bank accounts of crores of people.
He said that India is today among the leading countries in the realm of real time digital transactions, and that UPI has become the most preferred payment mechanism in India.
The virtual launch was preceded by a phone call between the two Prime Ministers, wherein discussions were held on areas of mutual interest. Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Lee for his partnership in taking the India-Singapore relationship forward and looked forward to working with him under India’s G20 Presidency.
The launch ceremony took place at 11 am (IST) with Shaktikanta Das, Governor of Reserve Bank of India, and Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, making live cross-border transactions to each other using their respective mobile phones.
Singapore is the first country with which cross border Person to Person (P2P) payment facility has been launched. This will help the Indian diaspora in Singapore, especially migrant workers/students and bring the benefits of digitalisation and FINTECH to the common man through instantaneous and low-cost transfer of money from Singapore to India and vice-versa. Acceptance of UPI payments through QR codes is already available in selected merchant outlets in Singapore, a statement said.