The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will reportedly soon roll out the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) living in the UK.
This will enable NRIs to make cross-border bill payments on behalf of their family members in India through the payments system. Meanwhile, talks are underway with other countries, including Canada and Singapore, for the same initiative.
“We have been receiving plenty of requests from NRIs to enable this facility. Our initial focus was on the Middle East countries given the sizable NRI population in the region. The UK is next and should soon go live,” said NPCI Bharat BillPay chief executive officer (CEO) Noopur Chaturvedi, as per Moneycontrol.
Speaking at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Innovation Pavilion at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi, Chaturvedi said that the ‘niche’ facility offers a ‘degree of convenience’ to NRIs and their families living back home.
Currently, the NRIs have to first transfer the money to accounts of family members who then can make bill payments. Touting the new initiative, Chaturvedi said the facility is expected to slash the number of transactions from two to one. She also said that the service will streamline bill payments, especially for NRIs who have elderly family members back home.
It is pertinent to note that the facility, which was enabled by the RBI last year, is already available to NRIs based out of Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Chaturvedi believes that the facility is yet to ‘take off in a big way’ while noting that a mere 300-400 cross-border transactions were done in August 2023.
As leaders from across the globe landed in the country to participate in the G20 summit, India continued to pitch its digital payments ecosystem to dignitaries from around the world. At the RBI pavilion itself, delegates from 20 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Russia and the UK, undertook Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments.
At the multiple bilateral and finance track meetings, India actively pitched the country’s digital payments stack and pushed for collaboration with online payment initiatives of other countries.
The cross-border payments initiative was part of India’s overarching theme during the 12-month long G20 presidency. One of the key agendas of India’s presidency was advancing financial inclusion globally through technology and digital public infrastructure.
Touting India’s progress in the fintech space, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, earlier in the day, said India has become the first country in the world to develop all three foundational pillars of digital public infrastructure – digital identity module, digital payments and a platform to share personal data with privacy.
She also said that DPIs have been embedded in the G20 financial inclusion agenda under India’s G20 presidency.
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