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Exclusive: NPCI floats entity to test global markets for UPI; infuses Rs 50 Cr

The National Payments Corporation of India or NPCI has floated a new entity — NPCI International Limited (NIPL) — to explore the possibility of taking its highly successful digital payments railroad Unified Payment Interface or UPI to global markets. NPCI has been gearing up for overseas expansion since late last year.

The formation of a separate entity has come at a time when UPI has been breaking all previous records in terms of processing volume (transactions) and value. July turned out to be the best ever month for UPI as it posted 1.49 billion transactions worth Rs 2,90,537 crore or Rs 2.9 trillion.

According to incorporation documents, the latest move is a part of the company’s efforts to carry on the business and promote the growth and expansion of payments and settlement services in national and international geographies through electronic and paper-based clearing systems.

NPCI has appointed Ritesh Shukla as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NIPL. Previously, Shukla was part of Mastercard’s business in the MENA market. Importantly, Anubhav Sharma who left NCI to join Paytm for a brief time has also made a comeback to look after business development, partnership and marketing verticals at the new entity.

The international entity includes six directors or initial subscribers — Praveena Rai, Rajendra Narayanan, Ashish Pai, Priyanka Agrawal — all senior executives at NPCI. 

Rai is the chief operating officer at NPCI while Khan holds the post of the chief digital officer at the umbrella organisation for retail payments in India. Narayanan, who left NPCI after serving for more than 10 years as its chief technology officer in May 2020, is currently in IFTAS as its CEO. 

Pai is an associate vice president whereas Agrawal serves in NPCI as the company secretary.

NPCI had also poured in the authorised capital of Rs 50 crore in its international subsidiary in May this year, shows separate regulatory filings. According to Entrackr sources, the firm has been in advanced conversation with a few banks and financial entities to test a UPI kind of infrastructure in UAE and Southeast Asian countries.

Launched in 2016, the four-year-old NPCI has disrupted the digital payment space in the country. With 490% growth in volume and 700% growth in terms of value, UPI clocked 5.39 billion transactions amounting to Rs 8,76,970.72 crore in FY20. The growth of UPI in FY20 was mainly driven by three PSPs – Google Pay, PhonePe and Paytm.

Apart from existing QR-code and mobile number based payments solutions, NPCI is also planning to enable near field communication or NFC-based payment facility by partnering banks and PoS device makers in India. 

The story has been updated after NPCI’s press release to reflect Ritesh Shukla’s appointed as CEO of NIPL and comeback of Anubhav Sharma at NPCI. 

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