Direct cross-border financial transfers between India and Singapore will now be available using just mobile phone numbers (among other methods, such as identity card numbers or Virtual Payment Addresses). Real-time Payments (RTPs) are bank account transfers that are completed in seconds, helping businesses and consumers manage cash flow and improve transparency and confidence in both local and international trade.
The payments and remittance market between the two countries currently stands at USD 1 billion annually. Individually, India is one of the world’s largest remittance markets, estimated at USD 100 billion in 2022. This RTP arrangement is expected to enable smoother, faster transfers, potentially growing the market for both countries.
The UPI-PayNow partnership between the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is India’s first such tie-up; Singapore has other, similar RTP arrangements with Thailand’s PromptPay. We expect that interconnections between RTP groups may be explored, further accelerating digital payments for consumers, backed with strong identity and authentication features.
From a FinTech/behind-the-scenes tech and cloud computing perspective, MAS has also announced that the PayNow-UPI connection is the first globally to use a scalable cloud-based infrastructure that allows the system to expand or contract computing capacity based on the volume of transfer traffic.
Access Partnership and the Fair Tech Institute are tracking the digital economy, financial technology (FinTech), and digital payments closely. If you have additional information to share or if you would like to request a market briefing on this issue, please contact Lim May-Ann at [email protected].