Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India's Unified Payment Interface (UPI) is implementing new responsibilities to unite partners with India.
“Today is a special day for three friendly countries in the Indian Ocean. Today we connect our historical relations in a modern digital way. This is a testament to our commitment to the development of our people,” Prime Minister Modi said at a virtual ceremony. which today launched UPI services in Sri Lanka and Mauritius.
Prime Minister Modi addressed the event through video conferencing and said that through Fintech connectivity, not only cross-border transactions but also cross-border connections will be strengthened.
Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mauritius Prime Minister Praveen Jugnauth were also present at the event to launch India's UPI services in the two island countries.
“Fintech connectivity will not only strengthen cross-border transactions, but also cross-border connections. India’s Unified Payments Interface, or UPI, now fulfills a new responsibility: uniting partners with India,” he added.
Mauritius Prime Minister Jugnauth, who also attended the launch via video conferencing, said that with digital payment connectivity, ties between India and Mauritius have taken on a new dimension.
“It gives me great pleasure to join you all in this milestone. The Rupay card, together with our national payment switch, the MoCAS, will be designated as the domestic card in Mauritius. India and Mauritius share a strong cultural, commercial and human identity. relationships between people that date back centuries. Today we add another dimension to this relationship.'
“One of the highlights of the G20 meeting under the Indian presidency was the commitment to improve access to digital services and digital public infrastructure and leverage the opportunities of digital transformation to drive sustainable and inclusive growth. Mauritius has already started doing that,” said the Prime Minister of Mauritius. .
When the launch took place, the first UPI transaction was made by an Indian citizen in Mauritius. In addition, an Indian citizen in Sri Lanka also made the first UPI transaction.
Sri Lankan President Wickremesinghe said: “…For you, Prime Minister Modi, it is a second important occasion as I must congratulate you on the opening of the Ram Mandir just a few weeks ago. This shows our connections , both economically and culturally.” while congratulating Prime Minister Modi.
'For thousands of years, payments took place between our two countries and, unfortunately, central banks did not exist at that time. Our museums have a number of coins, South Indian coins over 1000 years old, found in various countries. parts of villages or the dry zone. An indication that the South Indian trading companies were very active, even in the villages. So what we're doing today is just technologically upgrading it. You have Lanka QR and the NIPL together,” Wickremesinghe said.
“And certainly, with more and more Indian tourists visiting Sri Lanka, this will be used in every village in our country. Moreover, the transactions taking place between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka and Mumbai are such that this is certainly valuable…” he added.
The Indian government has placed particular emphasis on ensuring that the benefits of UPI are not limited to India alone, but that other countries can also benefit from it.
So far, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, France, UAE and Singapore are working with India on emerging fintech and payment solutions.
Given India's robust cultural and people-to-people ties with Sri Lanka and Mauritius, the launch will benefit a broad cross-section of people through a faster and seamless digital transaction experience and enhance digital connectivity between the countries, the MEA release said.
The launch will enable the availability of UPI settlement services for Indian nationals traveling to Sri Lanka and Mauritius as well as Mauritian nationals traveling to India.
The expansion of RuPay card services in Mauritius will enable Mauritian banks to issue cards based on the RuPay mechanism in Mauritius and facilitate the use of RuPay cards for settlements in both India and Mauritius, it added .
Notably, during Wickremesinghe's visit to New Delhi in July 2023, India and Sri Lanka signed an agreement on the adoption of UPI in the island country.
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