UPI-based payments to be accepted in Sri Lanka

Several other agreements were reached between India and Sri Lanka

PTI07_21_2023_000172A Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe prior to their meeting at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi, Friday, July 21, 2023 | PTI

India's Unified Payment Interface or UPI technology will now be accepted in neighbouring Sri Lanka. After wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday, both nations adopted an ambitious vision document to significantly expand their economic partnership.

Modi said that the agreement to accept UPI will result in fintech connectivity between the two sides, a PTI report read. Several other agreements were reached between India and Sri Lanka when Modi and Wickremesinghe met in Delhi.

So far, France, UAE, and Singapore have partnered with India on  the emerging fintech and payment solutions, an ANI report reads. In India, UPI, which facilitates round-the-clock payments, has become hugely popular for retail digital payments and its adoption is increasing at a rapid pace. 

Adopting UPI as a payment mode means people in both countries will be able to transfer funds in real-time by scanning the QR code or simply by entering mobile numbers linked to the bank account. It also means that Indians travelling to Sri Lanka will no longer need to carry foreign currency. 

Travellers to India too, benefit from UPI-- taking into consideration the popularity of the system, the RBI proposed to allow travellers to India to use UPI for merchant payments while in the country. On February 8, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das announced, to begin with, the facility will be extended to travellers from the G20 countries arriving at 'select international airports'. 

Modi, referring to the economic difficulties in Sri Lanka last year, said India stood "shoulder-to-shoulder" with the people of the island nation during the crisis as a close friend. In the last decade, the fintech industry has seen tremendous growth in India. 

The leaders discussed various aspects of relationships between the two countries including maritime relations, air, energy and people-to-people connectivity and the fisherman issue, which Modi said should be handled under a humanitarian approach. 

--With PTI inputs

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