In a historic move for South Asian connectivity, the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), India’s popular digital payment system, was launched in both Sri Lanka and Mauritius on February 12, 2024. This marks a significant step towards fostering financial inclusion and strengthening India’s bilateral economic ties with both nations.
The launch ceremony, held virtually, was graced by the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth, and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe. This event underscores the collaborative effort behind this initiative, aimed at enhancing inter-regional digital connectivity and facilitating seamless cross-border transactions.
The launch of UPI services in Sri Lanka and Mauritius enables seamless digital payments for travelers, businesses, and individuals across the borders. Indian tourists and business travelers can now make payments at participating merchants in both countries using their UPI-enabled apps. Similarly, Sri Lankans and Mauritians can leverage UPI for transactions in India.
LankaQR and NIPL Partnership
LankaPay, the national payment network operator in Sri Lanka, partnered with NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) to facilitate UPI adoption in the island nation. This collaboration enables merchants equipped with LankaQR codes to accept payments from UPI users. Channa De Silva, CEO of LankaPay, estimates that nearly 400,000 LankaQR merchants will be accessible to Indian tourists and businesses due to this integration.
RuPay Cards in Mauritius
The launch of RuPay card services in Mauritius expands the reach of India’s indigenous card network. This allows Mauritian banks to issue RuPay cards, empowering their customers to make transactions at ATMs and POS terminals accepting RuPay in both Mauritius and India.
While the benefits for travelers are evident, the impact extends beyond tourism. The expansion of UPI and RuPay fosters smoother cross-border trade and business transactions, facilitating economic exchanges between India, Sri Lanka, and Mauritius.
India’s Fintech Leadership
This initiative reaffirms India’s leadership in Fintech innovation and its commitment to sharing digital public infrastructure expertise with partner countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the importance of collaborating with Sri Lanka and Mauritius to achieve shared goals for financial inclusion and digital transformation.
The launch of UPI and RuPay in Sri Lanka and Mauritius marks a major milestone in India’s efforts to promote its digital payment infrastructure globally. This collaboration holds immense potential to enhance financial inclusion, boost cross-border trade, and contribute to the overall economic development of the participating nations.