India And Singapore UPI PayNow Cross Border Payment System Launched

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Singapore’s Lee Hsien Loong initiated a connection between India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Singapore’s PayNow, making India the first South Asian nation to have a real-time overseas payments link. This is a noteworthy development for India, which is the world’s largest remittance recipient.

This announcement is the latest step in the government’s ongoing effort to promote and strengthen its tech infrastructure, such as UPI and DigiLocker, to use its G20 presidency to present its digital infrastructure to other countries.

India and Singapore Link Payments Systems

India and Singapore have connected their digital payment systems, UPI and PayNow, to allow quick and cost-effective fund transfers for the cross-border transactions between the two countries that add up to more than one billion dollars every year. The link between the two systems became operational on Tuesday, according to a press conference held by the two countries’ central banks.

Eight banks from Singapore and India, including DBS, Liquid Group, Axis Bank and State Bank of India, are working together to allow citizens to send money to each other in real-time using their local payment systems.

MAS and RBI Launch PayNow-UPI Linkage

The Monetary Authority Singapore (MAS) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today initiated the PayNow-UPI linkage, which is a real-time payments systems connection between Singapore’s PayNow and India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI). DBS Bank is the first and only participating bank in Singapore.

The service will be introduced gradually to familiarize DBS/POSB customers with the new system. Initially, selected customers can use PayNow-UPI to transfer up to SGD200 per transaction, with a daily maximum of SGD500. By 31 March 2023, the service will be available to all customers, with the daily limit increasing to SGD1,000.

DBS/POSB Payments Solutions

DBS/POSB customers can make overseas payments and funds transfers in over 200 destinations with DBS payment solutions such as DBS Remit (no transfer fee), outward telegraphic transfers, PayNow-PromptPay linkage and Scan to Pay with DBS PayLah!

Growing Popularity

These solutions have seen increasing usage over the years. In 2022, the migrant worker community saw a 25% increase in the total value of remittances made, and 63% more new customers remitting funds to India compared to 2021.

Usage of DBS PayLah! Overseas also rose due to easing travel restrictions and PayNow-PromptPay transactions, and customers quadrupled by the end of 2022.

Speaking on the announcement, Shee Tse Koon, Singapore Country Head, DBS Bank, said,

We are pleased to be part of this momentous partnership between Singapore and India to launch the new PayNow-UPI linkage. As the world becomes increasingly globalised and interconnected, we believe in collectively harnessing technology to expand access to fast and seamless cross-border payment services.

With India being one of DBS’ biggest markets for overseas remittances, this is a welcome addition to our wide-ranging suite of payment solutions for SMEs, retail customers and especially migrant workers, who now have another convenient option to send money to their loved ones back home.