India and Singapore linked their digital payment systems —unified payments interface (UPI) and PayNow — in February 2023 to enable instant and low cost cross-border fund transfer. Now the plan is to increase the fund transfer limit at least five times.
"The limit right now is 1,000 Singapore dollars. We are working with regulators from both sides to raise the limit to 5,000-10,000 Singapore dollars," Dilip Asbe, MD and CEO of National Payment Corporation of India said on Tuesday.
NPCI is keen to see UPI in other countries. Apart from Singapore, the governments of India and UAE too had signed agreements to interlink their payment systems. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in July that soon Indians could also begin using UPI in France. There could be many more in coming years.
Asbe believes that in at least 50 per cent of top 30 markets, there would be pipes in place for cross-border transactions by 2030.
"The way the government and RBI is driving it, I think its possible," he said.
UPI has seen rapid scale up in recent years. The instant mobile payment platform crossed 10 billion transactions in a month for the first time in August. Asbe, who was speaking in a session at the Global Fintech Fest in Mumbai, sees huge growth opportunities from here on as more and more people adopt UPI.
"Today the UPI is used by 350 million people. I think our objective is UPI to be used by every Indian. We have a 3x opportunity on the user side, we have a 3x opportunity on the merchant side and if you take a combined effect, we have a 10x opportunity from where we stand,"
When asked where he sees India's financial system by 2030, Asbe said "for sure" there could be 2 billion UPI payment transactions per day.
Credit is another emerging opportunity on UPI.
RBI had earlier this year allowed linking of rupay credit cards to UPI to make payments. On Monday, RBI announced that the scope of UPI was being further expanded by including credit lines as a funding account.
Under this facility, payments through a pre-sanctioned credit line issued by a scheduled commercial bank to individuals, with prior consent of the individual customer, are enabled for transactions using the UPI System.
Asbe says there is huge growth opportunity in the credit market.
"Today the credit card underwriting cost and the acquisition cost makes it very difficult to go back to everybody. I can with the pure digital avatar of credit cards, I strongly believe there is an opportunity to grow this market 10x," said Asbe.
He said they were working closely with the large lenders and feels a complete digital onboarding process by banks, could drive this growth in the credit market.