In the year 2023, UPI payments in India recorded a staggering value of Rs. 167 lakh crores, as reported by Google. In a groundbreaking move, Google Pay and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) have joined forces to extend the reach of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) beyond national borders. The collaboration aims to bring the convenience of instant payments, widely embraced within India, to international markets.
A recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been inked between Google Pay India and NPCI’s subsidiary, NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL). This strategic partnership seeks to streamline digital payments for travelers outside of India while fostering the establishment of UPI-style digital payment infrastructures in other countries. The initiative is set to simplify cross-border financial transactions and remittances, utilizing the proven efficiency of the UPI framework.
Deeksha Kaushal, Director of Partnerships at Google Pay India, emphasized the transformative impact of UPI on economies, stating, “UPI has demonstrated to the world the step change that happens in economies with the introduction of interoperable, population-scale digital infrastructure.”
The collaborative effort aims to extend this impact globally, making it easier for international travelers to conduct transactions seamlessly.
According to the joint press release, the collaboration also envisions facilitating Indian customers in their dealings with foreign merchants. This initiative could potentially reduce dependence on credit or forex cards, favoring UPI apps like Google Pay for international digital payments.
Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NPCI International Payments Limited, expressed optimism, stating, “This strategic partnership will not only simplify foreign transactions for Indian travelers but will also allow us to extend our knowledge and expertise of operating a successful digital payments ecosystem to other countries.”
Highlighting Google Pay’s commitment to user convenience, the platform introduced a UPI Lite feature last year. This feature enables swift small-value digital payments with a single tap, eliminating the need to enter the UPI PIN. UPI Lite supports transactions of up to Rs. 200 at a time, with users able to load their accounts with up to Rs. 2,000 twice a day.
In a move to enhance user experience, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) increased the UPI Lite transaction limit from Rs. 200 to Rs. 500 in August. Despite this adjustment, the overall wallet limit remains at Rs. 2,000. NPCI reported a significant milestone, with UPI transactions surpassing the 10-billion mark in August, totaling Rs. 15,18,456.4 crore in value.
As Google Pay and NPCI embark on this international venture, the global landscape for digital payments stands to benefit from the proven success of UPI in India, promising a more streamlined and efficient cross-border financial ecosystem.