India and Russia have agreed to explore the possibility of accepting each other’s payment cards, RuPay and Mir, for hassle-free payments between the two countries. The decision was made during the latest meeting of the Internal Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological, and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC), which was jointly chaired by External Affairs Minister of India S Jaishankar and Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov.
Benefits of Mutual Acceptance of RuPay and Mir Cards:
Mutual acceptance of RuPay and Mir cards will facilitate transactions in Indian rupees and Russian rubles, making it easier for citizens of both countries to carry out cross-border payments. Currently, overseas payments from India and Russia are made through the SWIFT network, and exploring alternative payment options is necessary to minimize the impact of sanctions imposed on Russia by the West.
Exploring Interaction between UPI and FPS:
In addition to the mutual acceptance of payment cards, the meeting also explored the possibility of interaction between India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Russia’s Faster Payments System (FPS). This move aims to further simplify cross-border payments between India and Russia.
Adoption of the Russian Financial Messaging System:
Both countries also agreed to explore the adoption of the Russian financial messaging system, the Services Bureau of Financial Messaging System of the Bank of Russia, for cross-border payments. This system is expected to provide a more secure and reliable platform for cross-border transactions.
Cross-Border Connectivity between UPI and PayNow:
The meeting’s participants also discussed the recent launch of the cross-border connectivity between UPI and Singapore’s PayNow. This linkage enables people in both countries to undertake faster and cost-efficient digital transfers, benefiting the Indian diaspora in Singapore, including migrant workers and students.
Facilitation of Inward and Outward Remittances:
Both inward and outward remittances will be facilitated by the State Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Indian Bank, and ICICI Bank, whereas Axis Bank and DBS India will only facilitate inward remittances. UPI has emerged as the most popular and preferred payment mode for person-to-person and person-to-merchant transactions in India, accounting for 75% of total digital payments.
Resilient Payment and Settlement Infrastructure in India:
Since its inception in 2008, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has established a resilient payment and settlement infrastructure in India, enabling transactions through a range of retail payment products like RuPay card, Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), UPI, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), BHIM Aadhaar, National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC Fastag), and Bharat BillPay.