A day after a real-time payments system linkage was established between India and Singapore using the UPI platform, State Bank of India on Wednesday announced a partnership with PayNow, the online payment system of the city state, for cross-border payments. The facility is offered through SBI’s Bhim SBIPay mobile application and the linkage will allow fund transfers from India to Singapore through registered mobile numbers, and from Singapore to India using the UPI ID, the bank said in a statement.
The UPI-PayNow linkage is a significant milestone towards developing an infrastructure for cross-border payments between the two countries and the initiative closely aligns with the G20’s priorities of driving faster, cheaper, and more transparent cross-border payments.
The inward bilateral remittance between the two countries was around USD 949 million in 2021 according to the World Bank bilateral remittances matrix, the bank said.
RBI governor Shaktikanta Das and Ravi Menon, managing director of Monetary Authority of Singapore, which is the Reserve Bank of India’s counterpart in the city state, executed the first live cross-border transaction, using the Bhim SBIPay, the bank said.
“The linkage of these two payment systems will enable residents of both the countries to initiate a faster and more cost-efficient transfer of cross-border remittances. It will also help the Indian diaspora in Singapore, professionals, students, and workers through an instantaneous and low-cost transfer of money both ways,” the statement quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said.
“Cross-border retail payments and remittances between the two countries amount to over USD 1 billion annually. As we progressively add more users and use cases, the UPI-PayNow linkage will grow in utility and contribute more to facilitating our trade and people-to-people links, Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, was quoted as saying.
SBI chairman Dinesh Khara said the initiative will go a long way in boosting the digitisation initiatives, providing easy, seamless cross-border payment facility to users.