India is looking to broaden its UPI reach into Africa. India is leading a worldwide initiative to bolster developing countries by expanding its footprint in the payment technology sector. Aiming to enhance financial accessibility and stimulate economic progress, India is actively engaging with multiple African nations, such as Namibia, Mozambique, and Kenya, to promote the growth of its Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and form business collaborations with payment systems.
The UPI, crafted by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), is a multifunctional mobile payment mechanism that allows smooth transactions across various bank accounts. It supports a range of transactions, from inter-bank peer-to-peer (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions to over-the-counter and QR code payments and periodic payments like utility bills and educational fees. UPI has revolutionized the way account holders conduct financial transactions since its introduction.
UPI is used by roughly 300 million individuals and 500 million businesses in India. It has emerged as the favored choice for digital transactions in India, recording over 10 billion transactions monthly and a transaction volume of $180 billion in August, as stated by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
The proposed UPI expansion into Africa is a significant move, addressing the existing hurdles in Africa’s financial transaction ecosystem. This effort is set to enhance financial accessibility, bolster rural economies, stimulate fintech creativity, and ensure transparency, among other benefits.
India has previously introduced its payment interface to other nations. Over recent years, India has showcased its flagship UPI system to several developing nations, having recently inked Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Sierra Leone, and Suriname to offer its Digital Payment Infrastructure (DPI) solutions.
Furthermore, dialogues are in progress with numerous developing nations in Latin America, Europe, and Southeast Asia for analogous DPI collaborations. It’s worth noting that India’s neighboring countries, such as Nepal and Bhutan, have already embraced UPI. Sri Lanka is anticipated to adopt it in the near future. Moreover, India has strengthened its financial relationship with Singapore, ensuring more fluid remittance channels by connecting their payment infrastructures.