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What does India’s UPI, Singapore’s PayNow linkage connote?

“The low-cost, 24×7 connectivity will pave the way for more cross-border collaborations,” says Alok Bansal, MD, Visionet Systems India and Global Head of BFSI Business

The BFSI industry (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance) has been undergoing an unprecedented shift, particularly in the last few years, post the COVID-19 pandemic. The most discernible change is the focus on rapid digital transformation, says Alok Bansal, MD, Visionet Systems India and Global Head of BFSI Business. A case in point is the recent news that from this month, residents of Singapore and India will be able to instantly transfer money to each other via Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and PayNow.

Alok says, “Fund transfers can now be made from India to Singapore using mobile phone numbers and UPI virtual payment addresses with just a click and this enables time and cost-efficient transfer of funds between the two countries. This is particularly significant in view of the fact that Singapore is among the top four inward remittance markets for India. This move will hugely benefit over 6.5 lakh Indians as well as business in Singapore.”

Alok believes this kind of low-cost, 24×7 connectivity will pave the way for more cross-border collaborations and offer the tech-savvy Generation Z, the convenience of digital transactions anytime, anywhere. According to him, words like ‘digital connectivity’ and ‘interoperability’ will now be used more frequently to describe financial interdependence between nations and to underscore the importance of adaptable, reliable and sturdy digital infrastructures.

In India, next-generation financial systems are already altering spending patterns, driving financial inclusivity and helping businesses grow. According to NASSCOM’S India Digital Payments 4.0: 2025 Outlook report, India now ranks number 1 in the world in terms of real-time digital payment transactions.

Alok says, “Today, anyone with a smartphone is a potential client and industries are now gearing up to meet their every need. Customers are opting for digital transactions to save time, for better security, and for ease of use. Biometric authentication, one-time-password, and tokenisation have also enhanced the security of such transactions. 24X7 internet banking services, personalised attention, reward points and cash-free payment options with mobile wallets etc. are crafting a better customer experience than ever before.”

When traditional businesses get a digital makeover, their efficiency, reach and profitability increase, observes Alok and adds, “Digital empowerment is helping small businesses and women entrepreneurs to grow and expand. When they take their business online, commuting to faraway places for banking transactions becomes unnecessary. In a society where a woman’s income is not always at her disposal, digital transactions ensure that her income reaches her directly, without any intermediaries.”

Most importantly, digital banking is facilitating the penetration of banking services in rural areas. “This is one of the major breakthroughs of digital payment services that banking facilities are now also reaching underserved customers in rural belts. With more technological assistance, better infrastructure and transformative digital tools, we can supercharge India’s economic growth in an unprecedented way,” concludes Alok.

(The author is Mr. Alok Bansal, MD, Visionet Systems India and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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