The High Commissioner of India to Singapore, Jawed Ashraf today inaugurated a pilot demonstration of the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) united payments interface (UPI) QR code-based payment system in Singapore. Mr Ashraf carried out a live transaction at a merchant terminal at the ongoing Singapore Fintech Festival 2019 using the BHIM app. The pilot is running for the duration of the festival from November 11 to 15.
This QR based payment system, jointly developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) of Singapore, allows anyone with the BHIM app to make payments at NETS terminals in Singapore.
This is the first time that the BHIM app has gone international with the project targeted to go live by February 2020 after RBI approval, marking yet another achievement for fintech cooperation between India and Singapore. The BHIM app follows the launch of RuPay International card and SBI's UPI based remittance app by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.
"We have shown that technically and commercially we have been able to create the system. Over the next two months there are many things to sort out, including dynamic payment settlement systems because each time you are doing this payment, there has to be an immediate conversion... We are targeting about 10,000 merchants here or points of sales," said HE Jawed Ashraf.
The High Commissioner was also present at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for working towards access of TPCI dashboard to Business sans Borders (BSB).
The project, conceived by MAS and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), is a hub for connecting trade platforms of SMEs and is currently running a pilot with SMEs in South East Asia and India. Once it is fully rolled out, it will allow SMEs across the region to reach a wider market domestically and internationally and access ancillary services like credit facilities, insurance, logistics and legal/professional services.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) which has seventy million traders in India as members, is already connected to BSB through a platform provided by Mastercard-GlobalLinker.