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NPCI to set up subsidiary to take UPI global


After tasting success in India in its three years of existence, real-time payment system Unified Payment Interface (UPI) is now gearing up for international markets.

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an initiative of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), and the developer of the UPI system is now going to set up a subsidiary to take the UPI model to other countries.

“NPCI has decided to set up a subsidiary to focus on taking the UPI model to other countries and make this business propositions in those countries and for the NPCI itself,” said RBI governor Shaktikanta Das while addressing an industry gathering at Times Network’s India Economic Conclave.

“UPI system is now being internationally watched, and it can become an international model to facilitate quick and seamless payment,” Das added citing Bank of International Settlement’s (BIS) recently released paper.

He also credited RBI for playing an important role in creating the current UPI model.

The development comes two days after search engine giant Google had requested US Federal Reserve to create a similar model of open-payments like UPI, where private entities are allowed to collaborate to find unique solutions to serve users.

“We’ve been pretty vocal that we believe the right model for driving digital payments is through a partnership between banks, governments & tech companies through open and standards-based infrastructures like UPI,” said Caesar Sengupta, general manager & vice-president, Payments and Next Billion Users at Google on Twitter.

In the last three years since UPI’s launch in 2016, the NPCI-led digital payment railroad has witnessed a rise in transactions and rapid adoption among customers.

In November, UPI registered about 1.2 billion transactions adding up to nearly Rs 1.9 lakh crore, according to NPCI.

Digital payment players PhonePe, Google Pay and Paytm contribute around 90% in overall transactions via the NPCI-owned payments railroad. Google Pay is reported to command over 35% market share followed by PhonePe. All these three firms have been profusely burning money to draw in more customers.

According to recent data available, UPI has onboarded over 100 million customers. It aims to onboard about 500 million customers by 2022. It may soon go live in overseas markets like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Singapore.

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