Introduction to Cross-Border Remittances and their Importance
Cross-border remittances play a vital role in facilitating the movement of funds between countries, connecting individuals and businesses across borders. These remittances serve as a lifeline for many, supporting families, enabling international trade, and driving economic growth.
However, traditional methods of transferring money across borders have often been slow, costly, and burdened with complexities.
In this blog, we talk about a new way of cross-border remittance that has been possible with the help of NPCI’s UPI which enhances the international experience of remittance.
UPI-PayNow Integration for Seamless Remittances
In a remarkable step towards revolutionizing cross-border remittances, India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Singapore’s PayNow have joined forces.
This integration, implemented on February 21, 2023, has paved the way for faster and more efficient money transfers between India and Singapore. The collaborative efforts of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have brought about this groundbreaking synergy.
By linking UPI and PayNow, users in both countries can now leverage their respective mobile apps to initiate secure, convenient, and cost-effective cross-border remittances. The UPI-PayNow integration eliminates the need for complex banking details and offers a seamless experience for users to send and receive money across borders.
This milestone achievement was commemorated through a virtual launch event attended by distinguished guests, including Shaktikanta Das, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted the significance of this collaborative endeavour.
Additionally, participating banks have played an integral role in making the UPI-PayNow integration a reality. In India, leading banks such as the State Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Indian Bank, and ICICI Bank have facilitated both inward and outward remittances, enabling individuals and businesses to transfer funds seamlessly.
Axis Bank and DBS Bank India have also contributed by facilitating inward remittances. Singapore users have been provided with access to the service through DBS-Singapore and Liquid Group, a non-bank financial institution.
The UPI-PayNow Integration: The Benefits
The integration of UPI and PayNow brings with it a host of advantages, revolutionizing the landscape of cross-border remittances. One of the key benefits is the significant reduction in transaction times.
Traditionally, cross-border remittances were plagued by lengthy processing periods, causing delays and inconvenience for individuals and businesses. However, with this integration, the transfer of funds between India and Singapore becomes remarkably swift, enabling near-instantaneous transactions. This enhancement ensures that recipients can access their funds promptly, providing a seamless remittance experience.
Moreover, the collaboration between UPI and PayNow ensures greater cost efficiency where it often involved high fees and hidden charges, eroding the value of the remitted amount.
But from now onwards users can benefit from lower transaction costs, allowing them to maximize the amount being transferred. This cost-effectiveness fosters financial inclusivity and encourages a greater volume of remittances, benefiting individuals and businesses alike.
Also Read: UPI Charges: Who pays and who doesn’t?
How UPI-PayNow Benefits Users in India and Singapore
One of the remarkable features of the UPI-PayNow integration is the convenience it offers to users. Transacting across borders has been simplified to a great extent. Users can initiate transfers using their UPI-id, cellphone number, or Virtual Payment Address (VPA).
This user-friendly approach eliminates the need for complex banking details, making the process accessible to a wider audience. Whether it’s sending money to family members, supporting relatives abroad, or making personal gifts, the UPI-PayNow integration provides a hassle-free experience.
To facilitate seamless remittances, several Indian banks have been actively involved in the UPI-PayNow integration. State Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Indian Bank, and ICICI Bank are among the banks that facilitate both inward and outward remittances.
Axis Bank and DBS India, on the other hand, contribute to facilitating inward remittances.
This initial list of participating banks ensures that a broad user base can benefit from the UPI-PayNow integration.
It is expected that more banks will be included in the linkage over time, further expanding the reach and accessibility of this innovative cross-border remittance system.
Transaction Details and Limits
To ensure the smooth operation of cross-border remittances, there are certain transaction limits in place. Initially, Indian users can send up to Rs 60,000 in one day, which is equivalent to around SGD 1,000.
This daily transaction limit serves as a measure to prevent misuse and promote responsible remittance practices. However, it is important to note that these limits may be subject to change as per regulatory requirements and the evolving needs of the users.
The introduction of equivalent currency values provides users with real-time information regarding the amount being transferred.
This transparency allows users to have a clear understanding of the value of their remittances in both Indian Rupees and Singapore Dollars.
By dynamically calculating and displaying the conversion rate at the time of the transaction, users can make informed decisions and have a comprehensive view of their cross-border transfers.
The UPI-PayNow integration incorporates a dynamic currency conversion feature, adding further convenience to the transaction process.
When initiating a cross-border remittance, users will be presented with the option to view the transaction amount in both currencies.
This feature ensures that users have a clear understanding of the amount being sent and received, eliminating any confusion or uncertainties.
By providing real-time currency conversion rates, users can make well-informed decisions and assess the impact of the transaction on their finances.
The dynamic currency conversion feature reflects the commitment of the UPI-PayNow integration to enhance user experience and promote transparency in cross-border remittances.
Collaboration and Infrastructure Development
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), Banking Computer Services Pte Ltd. (BCS), and participating banks have worked together to make this innovative payment infrastructure a reality.
The collaboration between these regulatory bodies, payment system operators, and financial institutions has been instrumental in ensuring a smooth and secure cross-border remittance experience for users. Their combined expertise and commitment to technological advancements have paved the way for seamless integration between UPI and PayNow.
The UPI-PayNow linkage aligns with the financial inclusion priorities set by the G20, an international forum for economic cooperation. The G20 emphasizes the importance of driving faster, cheaper, and more transparent cross-border payments to promote financial inclusion and economic development.
By enabling swift and cost-efficient cross-border remittances, the UPI-PayNow integration contributes to the realization of these priorities. This alignment with global financial inclusion goals highlights the transformative impact of the UPI-PayNow linkage on cross-border payment systems.
Important FAQs Regarding UPI-PayNow Interlinkage
To address common queries regarding the UPI-PayNow interlinkage, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has provided the following FAQs:
- Who can undertake remittance transactions between India and Singapore through the UPI-PayNow interlinkage?
– Account-holders of the participating banks and financial institutions in India and Singapore can utilize the UPI-PayNow interlinkage for cross-border remittance transactions.
- Which are the participating banks in India for receiving remittances through the UPI-PayNow interlinkage?
– Currently, the participating banks in India for receiving remittances through the UPI-PayNow interlinkage are ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, DBS Bank India, Indian Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, and State Bank of India.
- Which banks in India are presently enabled for sending remittances through the UPI-PayNow interlinkage?
– Banks in India presently enabled for sending remittances through the UPI-PayNow interlinkage are ICICI Bank, Indian Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, and State Bank of India.
- Can I receive the remittances in my account with any of the participating banks in India even if my UPI ID is not registered with the same bank?
– Currently, the UPI ID registered with the same bank where the account is held can only be used for receiving remittances. It is important to have the UPI ID registered with the respective participating bank to ensure a smooth transaction experience.
- Is there any transaction limit for doing cross-border remittance transactions through the UPI-PayNow interlinkage?
– Yes, there is a daily transaction limit of Rs 60,000 (equivalent to around SGD 1,000) for undertaking cross-border remittance transactions through the UPI-PayNow interlinkage. This limit is subject to regulatory requirements and may be adjusted accordingly.
- For what purposes can the remittances be sent or received from either side?
– Presently, only Person to Person (P2P) remittances for “Maintenance of Relatives Abroad” and “Gift” are allowed through the UPI-PayNow interlinkage.
- Is there a provision of consent for receiving inward transactions through the interlinkage?
– Yes, the apps of the participating banks in India provide an opt-in/opt-out feature for receiving remittances from Singapore. Users have control over their consent to receive inward transactions through the UPI-PayNow interlinkage.
- How much time will it take to perform a transaction using this interlinkage?
– Transactions through the UPI-PayNow interlinkage can be carried out with ease, similar to how domestic transactions through UPI or PayNow take place. The entire transaction can be completed within a minute, providing users with a quick and efficient remittance experience.
- How would the limits under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) apply to this interlinkage while sending remittances from India?
– In the UPI-PayNow interlinkage transactions, only person-to-person (P2P) remittances for “Maintenance of Relatives Abroad” and “Gift” under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) are allowed. The prescribed LRS limits would be applicable to these transactions.
- Will the UPI-PayNow interlinkage cover other Indian banks/financial institutions?
– Yes, going forward, it is expected that the UPI-PayNow interlinkage will expand its coverage to include more banks and financial institutions in India, further enhancing the accessibility and reach of the cross-border remittance facility.
In conclusion, the UPI-PayNow integration offers immense advantages for users in India and Singapore, transforming the way cross-border remittances are conducted. By leveraging the power of digital payment systems, individuals can now experience faster, more affordable, and more secure transactions, strengthening economic ties between the two nations.
Remember, with the UPI-PayNow integration, the world of cross-border transactions is at your fingertips.