UP-lifting India: UPI’s Global Journey Gains Momentum

January 20, 2024
1 min read

TLDR: Google has partnered with the National Payments Corporation of India to expand the services of the United Payments Interface (UPI) beyond India. This strategic tie-up aims to make payments outside of India more convenient for Indian travelers and pave the way for UPI-inspired payment systems in other countries. The collaboration signals Google’s support for the Indian government’s goal of taking UPI global and creates new growth opportunities for Google Pay.

The tie-up between Google and UPI is in line with NPCI’s efforts to bolster India’s position in the global digital payment landscape. The agreement will not only benefit Google but also reduce dependence on conventional money transfer channels by simplifying remittances. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has personally advocated for the international expansion of UPI, noting that it has already expanded to countries like the UAE, Singapore, and France.

India’s remittance inflows reached $125 billion in 2023, the highest in the world. By partnering with UPI, Google can tap into this market and facilitate cross-border real-time money transfers. UPI can learn from China’s Alipay, which has encountered mixed results in its global expansion efforts. Unlike Alipay, UPI has taken a more strategic and calculated approach, expanding first in countries that send the most remittances back to India. Having Google as a partner with its vast resources, technology, and brand power could greatly benefit UPI’s efforts to go global.

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