India is engaging in discussions with a range of African countries, such as Namibia, Mozambique, and Kenya, to support the development of its Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and foster commercial partnerships between payment platforms. This move follows the statement by Ritesh Shukla, International CEO of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), that the number of countries with live UPI systems will double in the next 12-18 months.
Ritesh Shukla highlighted the common challenges faced by many countries, including financial inclusion, rural economic support, fintech incubation, and transparency. India aims to collaborate with these nations to assist them in creating their own sovereign versions of UPI.
India is pursuing two strategies to expand UPI’s global presence. The first involves aiding partner countries in constructing platforms and digital infrastructure. The second entails establishing commercial partnerships and linkages with existing foreign platforms, making transactions more convenient for Indian travelers and migrants.
Currently, around 30 million Indians living abroad send approximately $100 billion annually. The user experience for these remittances is fragmented based on location. India seeks to standardize this experience, enhancing efficiency and convenience.
This effort aligns with India’s goal of representing the interests of developing nations on the global stage. In June, India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with several nations, sharing its Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) solutions. Moreover, India is engaging with other developing countries in regions like Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia to expand these DPI partnerships.
UPI adoption has also extended to India’s neighboring countries. Nepal and Bhutan have embraced the platform, while Sri Lanka is expected to operationalize UPI in the near future. This year, India and Singapore linked their payment systems to facilitate smoother remittance flows.