India and Singapore have integrated their respective real-time payment network for the first time to facilitate cross-border exchange. India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and its equivalent in Singapore known as PayNow have been conjoined. This will enable transfer of remittances, funds and payments between the two countries in a quick and real-time.



  • Now residents of Singapore and India can instantly transfer money to each other via Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and PayNow.
  • The low-cost, faster and 24×7 cross-border connectivity project can be utilised by Indians using Google Pay, Paytm and other similar digital payment systems to transfer money to people in Singapore.


What is the significance of UPI-PayNow linkage?

  • Development of infrastructure for cross-border payments — Hence, it closely aligns with the G20’s financial inclusion priorities of driving faster, cheaper and more transparent cross-border payments.
  • Benefits to the citizens of both countries —
      • It will enable users of each of the two fast payment systems to make instant, low-cost fund transfers on a reciprocal basis without a need to get on board the other payment system.
      • It will also help the Indian diaspora in Singapore, especially migrant workers and students through the instantaneous and low-cost transfer of money.
      • As per financial experts, the integration of the system will bring down the cost of sending remittances by as much as 10 per cent.
        • Of the total inward remittances to India in 2020-21, the share of Singapore stood at 5.7 per cent, according to the RBI Remittance Survey, 2021.
        • There are approximately 6.5 lakh Indians, including non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIO), currently residing in Singapore.
          • This was as per the ministry of external affairs (MEA) document Population of Overseas Indians (2022).


What is UPI?

  • UPI is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank).
  • It does so by merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood.
  • In other words, UPI is an interface via which one can transfer money between bank accounts across a single window.
    • UPI supports both Person-to-Person (P2P) and Person-to-Merchant (P2M) payments and it also enables a user to send or receive money.
  • It was launched in 2016, by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
  • Features —
      • Immediate money transfer through mobile device round the clock 24*7 and 365 days
      • Hassle free transactions as customers are not required to enter the details such as Card no, Account number, IFSC etc.


What is PayNow?

  • Similar to India’s fast payment system UPI, PayNow is Singapore’s counterpart.
  • With just a mobile number, users can send and receive funds from one bank or e-wallet account to another in Singapore.
  • This peer-to-peer payments linkage is enabled through participating banks and Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NFIs) in the country.