RuPay card Current Affairs - 2019

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BHIM UPI goes global: Demonstrated at Singapore FinTech Festival

As a first step towards internationalization, a global pilot demo of BHIM UPI QR-based payments began on 13 November 2019 with a live transaction at merchant terminal at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2019. The Indian contingent with participation of 43 companies and start-ups was one of the largest at Singapore FinTech Festival 2019 being held between 11 and 15 November.

Background: In May 2018 Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested the launch of BHIM UPI QR code-based payments internationally after launching RuPay International card and SBI’s UPI based remittance app in Singapore, as an achievement for fintech cooperation between India and Singapore.

Key Highlights

This is the first time that BHIM app has gone international and the first transaction under the pilot run was demonstrated by Jawed Ashraf, High Commissioner of India to Singapore.

The project is being jointly developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Singapore’s Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS). This QR code-based system would allow anyone with a BHIM app to scan Singapore Quick Response Code (SGQR) at NETS terminals in Singapore for payments.

The project is targeted to go fully live by February 2020 and cover thousands of terminals in Singapore, after Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) approval. Moreover, by February 2020, it is also expected that all RuPay cards, including domestic ones, will be acceptable in Singapore.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also inked between Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for working towards access of TPCI dashboard to Business sans Borders (BSB).

What is Business sans Borders (BSB)?

It is a hub for connecting trade platforms of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and is currently running a pilot with SMEs in Southeast Asia and India. It is a project conceived by Monetary Authority of Singapore and Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). Once BSB is fully rolled out, it will allow millions of SMEs across region to reach a wider market domestically and internationally and access ancillary services such as credit facilities, logistics, insurance, as well as legal and professional services. Currently, The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), is already connected to BSB through a platform provided by Mastercard GlobalLinker. CAIT have about 70 million traders in India as its members.

India, Saudi Arabia signs MoU to launch RuPay card in kingdom

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, India has signed an agreement with the Saudi Arabia to launch the RuPay card in the country. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed between the two countries for the purpose. The step will benefit not only 2.6 million Indians in Gulf Kingdom but also pilgrims visiting Haj and Umrah.

The Rupay card lunch has made Suadi Arabia the third nation in West Asia to initiate India’s digital payment system.  India has already launched RuPay card in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Bhutan and Singapore.

About Rupay card

It is a first-of-its-kind Indian domestic Debit and Credit Card payment network. It is accepted at ATMs, POS devices as well as e-commerce websites. It was launched in 2012 to fulfil Reserve Bank of India’s (RBIs) vision to have a domestic, open and multilateral system of payments.

RuPay is India’s version of Master Card and Visa and is also a highly secure network that protects against cyberhacks. Currently, there are about 500 million RuPay cards in circulation in India.

To enhance its international acceptance, the RuPay has also tied-up with international players such as Discover, China Union Pay and Japan Credit Bureau. It recently also achieved a milestone of issuing 25 million RuPay cards.

India-Saudi Arabia

Over the last few years, India’s relations with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been on an upswing based on burgeoning energy ties besides cooperation in several other areas. PM Modi’s first visit to Riyadh in 2016 had put bilateral ties on a new trajectory.

With more than 2.6 million Indians working in Saudi Arabia, the Indian is the largest expatriate community in country. Every year nearly 2 lakh Haj pilgrims and about 3million Umrah pilgrims from India visit Saudi Arabia. The recent acceptance of Rupay card will allow the Indian expatriate and pilgrims to transact at cheaper rates.