In a strategic move to bolster India’s presence in the global fintech arena, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has unveiled plans to expand the reach of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to more than 20 countries by the financial year 2028-29. UPI, a revolutionary real-time interbank payment system, currently operates in several countries including France, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and the UAE, facilitating seamless transactions through a Virtual Payment Address (VPA).

This ambitious initiative, in line with RBI’s Viksit Bharat 2047 vision, aims to cater to the increasing demand for efficient cross-border payment solutions amidst globalization. By leveraging UPI’s success domestically, RBI seeks to enhance international trade relations and promote financial inclusion for the Indian diaspora abroad. The expansion plan is set to be executed in collaboration with NPCI International Payments Ltd. (NIPL), a subsidiary of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

UPI’s global expansion is expected to streamline international trade by offering faster and cost-effective payment options, thereby reducing reliance on traditional methods like wire transfers and foreign debit/credit cards. For Indians traveling or residing overseas, this move promises greater convenience and reduced transaction fees, making everyday financial transactions more accessible.

The initiative also aligns with efforts to promote India’s indigenous payment systems like RuPay cards, aimed at reducing dependence on international card networks and enhancing financial sovereignty. As RBI prepares to navigate regulatory and technical challenges, the coming years will be crucial in establishing UPI as a global standard for secure and efficient cross-border payments.

Source: ICICI Direct