The South American nation of Peru will soon have a payment system like India's flagship digital payments system UPI (Unified Payment Interface). The NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), the international division of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), has signed an agreement with the central bank of Peru to set up a UPI-like real-time payments system in the tourist nation.

The collaboration between NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) and the Central Reserve Bank of Peru (BCRP) makes Peru the first country in South America to adopt the globally renowned UPI technology. The technology platform has been appreciated globally for facilitating the fast transfer of digital payments.

The tie-up will empower the BCRP to set up a real-time payments platform to facilitate instant payments between individuals and businesses, and expand digital payments to Peru’s large unbanked population, a statement said.

The NPCI says UPI enables connectivity and interoperability with both domestic and international payment networks and will foster innovation and resilience in the Peruvian payment ecosystem.

Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NPCI International, says the partnership will strengthen Peru’s financial infrastructure. "We will be working together to address our common objective of promoting digital payments, financial inclusion, cost optimisation, and transparency in the payment landscape, with scope for further scalability and adaptability."

Julio Velarde, Governor of the BCRP, says the support of the Reserve Bank of India has been a cornerstone of this agreement. "The BCRP aims to promote financial inclusion, security, and efficiency, and to introduce new use cases in digital payments."

He says the new infrastructure will play a fundamental role in fostering innovation and allowing new participants to enter the Peruvian ecosystem. "This will undoubtedly offer new and accessible payment services to everyone, especially the unbanked population in Peru, complementing the existing payments industry.”

In India, the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) transactions recorded a new high in May 2024, with 14.04 billion transactions worth Rs 20.45 lakh crore, increasing from 13.30 billion transactions in April 2024 at Rs 19.64 lakh crore value. May's UPI transaction volume and value were the highest ever since the launch of the widely popular platform in April 2016.

Countries like Singapore, Malaysia, UAE, France, Nepal, the UK, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka already accept UPI payments.

According to the RBI, users will also be able to deposit cash using UPI at ATMs soon. The RBI in April 2024 said it will issue operational instructions soon. The facility of depositing cash using UPI at ATMs is an extension of the RBI's earlier measures of "cardless cash withdrawal" at ATMs.

As per the RBI, given the popularity and acceptance of UPI, and the benefits seen for cardless cash withdrawals at ATMs, it is now proposed to facilitate a cash deposit facility via UPI.

The central bank has also allowed UPI access for prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) via third-party applications to provide flexibility to PPI holders by enabling them to make UPI payments like bank account holders.

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