The increasing global appeal of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is bolstering hopes that the indigenously developed system can emerge as an alternative to Swift — world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services — highly-placed sources in the government said.
The latest country to adopt is Japan, which said it was seriously considering joining Indian UPI to increase interoperability. Sources said this could become the standard for cross-border payment system in the future.
“This (UPI) has the potential to become an alternative to Swift. We had very good interactions during the G7 meet and showed them presentations about Prime Minister’s Digital India vision. This really made them sit up and take note… they were surprised to learn that India has such a technology in place,” top sources at the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) told businessline.
Indian digital payment systems such as the UPI and/or RuPay are already available in countries like Singapore, Nepal, Bhutan and United Arab Emirates (UAE) for Indians travelling there. For non-resident Indians (NRIs), there are 10 countries which allow making payments (UPI) through their local phone numbers, including Australia, Canada, the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Singapore, Hong Kong, the UK and the US.
“We are working with around 19 countries at this point in time — most of them are developed countries in Europe and elsewhere. Even though they have their own payment interface, they are adopting a similar system. Countries like Mexico and Canada are also showing interest… UPI has also got a patent in Japan and the country is also recognising the India digital stack like UID, for its citizens,” the official added.
Japanese Digital Minister Kono Taro, on Friday, officially expressed the country’s interest in joining the Indian UPI payment system.
“… right now, Japan and India are trying to promote digital cooperation. We are now seriously thinking about joining the Indian UPI, and also contemplating how we can mutually recognise UID… so we can increase interoperability,” Kono said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also in Japan to attend the annual G7 summit and according to sources, Modi will be making strong partners in his Digital India vision.