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NPCI to bring in SWIFT alternative for 32 million Indian expatriates

NPCI to bring in SWIFT alternative for 32 million Indian expatriates
6 Jul, 2022
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National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) plans to take UPI to country’s 32 million expatriates to make it cheaper, simple and more convenient for them to send money to the country.

World Bank has tracked that Indian expatriates have remitted $87 billion last year which is by far, the largest cross-border inflow for any country. According to Ritesh Shukla, chief executive officer of NPCI International Payments Ltd. (NPCI’s international payments arm), the remittance that costs an overhead of $13 on average to send $200 across border, is ready for disruption, said the report.

“We have displaced cash in India to a large extent and are now looking to repeat the success in cross-border corridors,” Bloomberg quoted Shukla as saying. “Overseas Indians can use our rails to remit money inwards straightway into their bank accounts, and for the markets where Indians travel frequently, we will build acceptance for our instruments.”

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Effective implementation of UPI overseas would provide India a country based alternative to SWIFT which is a Belgium-based cross-border payment system operator.

Over 300 banks and 25 payments apps including Meta Platform’s WhatsApp and Alphabet’s Google Pay share NPCI’s UPI which enables instantaneous payments. UPI-enabled digital transaction remained above ₹10 lakh crore for consecutive months of May and June, showed data from NPCI.

NPCI is working on connecting the UPI platform to systems in other countries. It is in talks with governments, fintech firms and service providers across nations to bring down transaction cost and make tractions simple.

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Last year, NIPL entered a partnership with Western Union to facilitate real-time bank account payout in India. The collaboration was a step to enable cross-border remittance experience to the Indians living outside of India.

NIPL, in February, entered a partnership with Gateway Payments Service Pvt Ltd. and Manam Infotech Private Limited, to deploy UPI-based payment system in Nepal.

The partnership aims to bolster interoperable real-time Person to person (P2P) and Merchant payment transactions (P2M) and potential cross-border P2P remittances between both the nations, as revealed by NPCI. Incidentally, Nepal is the first country outside India to adopt UPI as the payments' platform. 

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