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Digital India and its UPI payment linkage with Singapore

Digital India and its UPI payment linkage

India’s digital identity a business opportunity for Singapore


Until a decade ago buying anything without the use of cash was a foreign idea. The growing usage of smartphones, and accessibility to the internet, boosted this revolutionary change and led to a digital transformation across the globe. 

Today, digital payments have become a common proactive worldwide. Every country has taken a 180-degree turn towards cashless transactions from the traditional cash-dependent economy. India quickly embraced this development and has surpassed the number of cash transactions with easy and secure digital payment methods. These digital methods are now accepted across the country as the primary method to perform any financial transaction. surpassing the number of cash transactions.

The growth of digital payments in India

India’s focus on digitalization is evident from its Digital India program. It promises high-speed Internet, mobile phones, and bank accounts to every citizen, ensuring real-time services from online and mobile platforms. This is in line with the aim of making financial transactions electronic and cashless and spreading digital literacy in India. Further efforts of the Digital India program boosted the country to achieve the “Faceless, Paperless, Cashless” status and to provide the facility of seamless digital payment in an easy, convenient, quick, and secure manner.

In fact, a transformation is underway in the fintech and banking sector with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) processing more than $ 1 trillion dollars payments in the financial year 2022. The UPI India payments crossed the monthly milestone of 5 billion transactions in March 2022. Options like Bharat Interface for Money-Unified Payments Interface (BHIM-UPI), pre-paid payment instruments (PPIs), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), and National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) system have led to substantial growth of the digital India platform and increased the Person-to-Person (P2P) and Person-to-Merchant (P2M) payments. 

The pre-existing payment modes such as NEFT, RTGS, debit cards, and credit cards have also picked up their speed in the banking and finance sectors. Such an exponential growth of UPI India gateways has created a robust digital finance ecosystem in India.

Digital India and changing market trends

The digital revolution in India has not only boosted UPI India gateways but also digitized business in various sectors such as e-commerce, fintech, travel, and so on. It has paved way for International business collaborations and led to the growth of the Online Platform Economy (OPE). It has changed the nature of work and the way we do business in the International market. 

With attractive FDI policies, investment policies, and incentives India has become a choice destination for doing business. Unique strengths like a dynamic business ecosystem, availability of skilled human capital, and increasing technological capabilities have positioned India for higher growth. 

Are India UPI payment systems going global?

India’s digital identity in the world presents a clear opportunity for business for many countries. The international unit of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) signed a string of deals with foreign companies and central banks. For instance, its partnership with the  European payment services facilitator Worldline will allow Indian travelers to carry out cashless transactions through UPI across Europe. Another success story of India’s digital economy was the adoption of India’s interoperable real-time digital payments model by Nepal that bolstered the person-to-person and merchant payment transactions.

Singapore also capitalized on this opportunity and invested in India’s digital economy. On February 2023, everyone was caught up with the latest digital business venture between Singapore and India. India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Singapore’s PayNow are now officially connected allowing for “real-time payment linkage”. This payment system allows users of both countries especially migrants and workers to make low-cost fund transfers without involving any other payment system. 

The UPI-PayNow linkage is a significant milestone in the India-Singapore friendship and in line with the G20’s financial inclusion priorities of developing quick, affordable, and transparent cross-border payments.

India’s digital economy: A key growth area for Singapore

The transformation of revolutionary digital India business shows the scale on which business expansion is possible. It is evident that with the growth of this digital ecosystem through digital services, applications, platforms, and software, setting up a business in India today can be a roaring success. 

Singapore is one of the largest foreign investors and has numerous ventures in the Indian market. Singapore’s growing interest in India’s digital payment landscape added new momentum to the Strategic India-Singapore partnership. 

Doing business in India is easier than you think. It is no longer a mammoth task but a journey bubbling with opportunities due to globalization, digitization, government support, and the availability of a knowledgeable workforce. It pushed many small and medium-sized enterprises around the world to take advantage of the Indian market and attain the desired level of inclusive growth in India.

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