Russia and India are looking into the potential of accepting RuPay and Mir cards

In light of Western sanctions against Moscow, India and Russia will look into the prospect of using RuPay and Mir cards for hassle-free payments in each other’s nations.

It was considered and decided to study the possibility of permitting acceptance of these cards at a recent high-level Internal Governmental Commission meeting on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological, and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC), according to sources.

According to sources, it would be simpler for citizens of India and Russia to make hassle-free payments in Indian rupees and Russian rubles in their respective countries once the RuPay (India) and Mir (Russia) cards are mutually accepted.

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of the National Payment Corporation of India and the Faster Payments System (FPS) of the Bank of Russia could potentially interact, according to the meeting, which was co-chaired by the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

The State Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Indian Bank, and ICICI Bank will all enable both inbound and outbound remittances, while Axis Bank and DBS India would only do so for inward remittances. In India, UPI has become the most widely used and preferred method of payment for one-to-one and one-to-merchant transactions, making up 75% of all digital payments. The amount and value of UPI transactions have multiplied since its inception in 2016.

Additionally, it was decided to consider implementing the Russian financial messaging system, Services Bureau of Financial Messaging System of the Bank of Russia, for international payments.

Currently, payments made from India to other countries, and vice versa, go through the SWIFT network.

It would not be practical for India to choose anything other than the SWIFT network at the time when sanctions are put in place, according to insiders.

Recently, the cross-border connectivity between UPI and PayNow was launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

People in Singapore and India may now conduct quicker and more affordable digital transfers thanks to the integration of Singapore’s PayNow and India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

The Indian diaspora in Singapore, especially migrant workers and students, would benefit from quick and affordable money transfers from Singapore to India and vice versa.

The PayNow-UPI linkage is the first real-time payment systems linkage of its sort in the world and employs a scalable cloud-based infrastructure that can accommodate future increase in the volume of remittance traffic.

In the beginning, outgoing remittances will be facilitated by the State Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Indian Bank, and ICICI Bank, while incoming remittances will be facilitated by Axis Bank and DBS India.

Since its 2016 inception, the UPI has become the most widely used and favoured payment method, pioneering both person-to-person and person-to-merchant transactions, and now represents 75% of all digital payments.

From 0.45 crore in January 2017 to 804 crore in January 2023, the number of UPI transactions has multiplied. In the same time frame, UPI transaction value rose from just 1,700 crore to 12,98 lakh crore.

In order to manage India’s retail payment and settlement systems, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) was established in 2008.

The nation now has a strong infrastructure for payments and settlements. A variety of retail payment products, including the RuPay card, IMPS, UPI, BHIM, BHIM Aadhaar, National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC Fastag), and Bharat BillPay, are used to facilitate payments.

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