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Sunday, February 25, 2024

India Launches UPI System and RuPay Cards in Sri Lanka and Mauritius

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India launched its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system in Sri Lanka and Mauritius on Monday, marking a crucial   moment for the three nations in the Indian Ocean region.  RuPay card services were introduced in Mauritius as part of this strategic initiative.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing the launch during a virtual ceremony, stated, “For the three friends (India, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka) in the Indian Ocean region, this is an important day. We are connecting our historical ties digitally. With fintech connectivity, not just cross-border payments, but cross-border connectivity will also strengthen. India’s UPI is playing a new role – uniting partners with India.”

The introduction of UPI settlement services in Sri Lanka and Mauritius will facilitate unified transactions for Indian nationals traveling to these countries and vice versa. The extension of RuPay card services in Mauritius allows local banks to issue cards based on the RuPay mechanism, enabling the use of RuPay cards for settlements in both India and Mauritius.

The virtual ceremony witnessed the participation of Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, and Governors of the central banks of the three countries.

PM Modi highlighted the benefits of UPI for both countries, emphasizing the acceleration of digital transformation and its positive impact on tourism. He stated, “Indian tourists will also prioritize destinations that accept UPI. People from Mauritius coming to India will have to buy fewer hard currencies, and we can transact in our own currencies in real-time at a lower cost. Eventually, we can also move towards peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions.”

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) underscored India’s commitment to sharing its fintech innovation and digital infrastructure experiences with partner countries. The launch is expected to enhance digital connectivity, benefiting a wide cross-section of people through a faster and seamless digital transaction experience.

The move aligns with India’s “neighbourhood first” policy, aiming to ensure peace, security, and development in the entire Indian Ocean region. The Center has been actively promoting the export of the UPI system and RuPay network, positioning them as alternatives to global payment networks like Mastercard and Visa. This initiative follows recent collaborations, with UPI being accepted in countries such as France, Singapore, Bhutan, and the UAE, reflecting India’s emergence as a leader in fintech innovation.

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