NPCI looking to port UPI success to the rest of Asia

Mumbai: The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which successfully developed the UPI, is eyeing export opportunities to build retail payment railroads in Asian countries, amid growing interest world over in digital payments.

NPCI’s recently set- up subsidiary NPCI International (NIPL) and Kansas-based fintech company Euronet have jointly submitted a bid to the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) to build the South Asian nation’s proposed Real-Time Retail Payments System and QRcode Generation and Repository System, two people aware of the talks told ET.

“The CBM project has received grants from the World Bank, and a successful implementation of NPCI’s expertise could give a serious boost to its international aspirations,” one of the people said. The bid could, however, face tough competition from global payments giants including Mastercard and Visa who are also known to be interested in the project, the person said requesting anonymity as the talks are private.

If the bid goes through, it will be the first among many international projects that NPCI is eyeing in the Asian market, where several economies including Malaysia, UAE and Singapore are on the cusp of mass digitisation and seeking to build interoperable networks similar to UPI’s, according to the second person.

NPCI and Euronet did not respond to ET’s emails seeking comment till press time Wednesday. According to one industry expert, building international solutions could test NPCI’s capabilities as India’s underlying digital infrastructure — which enables UPI and Aadhaar-enabled Payment System, among other payment railroads — is difficult to replicate.


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