India and Singapore Collaborating to Expand FinTech in Region

The government of India – known for its support of digital payments – is expanding the country’s electronic payment platforms beyond its borders.

During a visit to Singapore last week, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched three of the country’s mobile payments apps – BHIM, RuPay and an app from the State Bank of India (SBI) – at a business event, according to the Economic Times.

With the new introductions, India’s RuPay app is connected to Singapore’s NETS network, enabling RuPay payments at NETS acceptance points throughout Singapore, the ET article said.

The SBI’s Singapore branch also launched a new capability enabling app-based remittances to India from Singapore through India’s United Payment Interface (known as UPI).

During Modi’s visit, India’s Department of Economic Affairs and the Monetary Authority of Singapore also announced a joint working group that would promote “cooperation in financial innovation” between Singapore and India.

“A digital revolution, anchored on the biometric identity of a billion plus people, is sweeping through India. It has prompted financial inclusion, digital payments and innovation on an extraordinary scale,” Jawed Ashraf, High Commissioner of the Republic of India to Singapore, said in a press release.

“Singapore, a global financial hub, has emerged as a leading centre for FinTech. Our partnership will not only support our two nations’ progress in FinTech, but also help drive our international competitiveness and success in this area. The JWG [joint working group] on FinTech demonstrates our willingness to seize new opportunities for collaboration,” Ashraf said.

Government-supported apps have been a significant part of India’s strategy to increase digital transactions within its own borders, which has included not only the dramatic step of demonetization, but also economic incentives and efforts to expand access to technology.

The government of Singapore has also expressed support for growing electronic transactions. Technology companies including ride-hailing app Grab – which is based in Singapore – and Chinese PF Alipay are offering services in the emerging digital transaction market.