NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), the global division of the National Payment Corporation of India, has teamed up with Liquid Group Pte. Ltd., a cross border payments provider, in order to support UPI QR-enabled payments acceptance in 10 different markets across North Asia and Southeast Asia.
Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is described as an instant, real-time payment (RTP) system, enabling consumers in India to send funds in real-time, across several different bank accounts without having to share the details of one’s bank account with other parties.
UPI is reportedly among the most successful RTP systems internationally, offering simplicity, safety, and security for person to person (P2P) and person to merchant (P2M) transfers. Last year, UPI-powered commerce was valued at $457 billion, which is around 15% of India’s GDP.
Liquid Group, based in Singapore, runs a QR payment acceptance network that supports the cross-border acceptance of various payment schemes and virtual payment apps.
Liquid Group integrates a vast network of merchant acquiring partners in the 10 markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, according to a release.
By offering harmonized operating rules, enhanced user experience and uniform compliance standards, Liquid Group and its network of merchant acquiring partners are positioned to enable the internationalization of UPI Payments.
The partnership between NIPL and Liquid Group should enable BHIM App users to make UPI QR-powered payments at more than 2 million merchants across North Asia and Southeast Asia from early next year.
Jeremy Tan, Founder and CEO at Liquid Group, stated:
“We are excited by this partnership with NIPL. In anticipation of the resumption of cross-border travel soon, we have been working with our merchant acquiring partners to prepare for the acceptance of contactless QR payments from overseas. UPI has made exponential growth in India and we look forward to supporting its rapid expansion across the region.”
Ritesh Shukla, CEO at NIPL, remarked:
“This strategic partnership with Liquid Group is a formidable step towards achieving our vision of taking our robust and popular payments solutions to global markets. We are confident that our proven product capabilities, combined with the vast merchant network of Liquid Group, will enable UPI QR-based payment acceptance and scale-up in Asian markets.”
As noted in the announcement, Liquid Group is a Fintech based in Singapore. It maintains a presence across the APAC region. It operates XNAP Network, an open API based QR payment acceptance network that “enables the cross-border acceptance of bank and non-bank QR wallets and payment apps across multiple markets in the region.”
Additionally, Liquid Group offers local and cross-border corporate payment solutions for firms across B2B and B2C segments.
Liquid Group is regulated as a Major Payment Institution by the Monetary Authority of Singapore “to conduct Account Issuance Service, E-money Issuance Service, Merchant Acquisition Service, Domestic Money Transfer Service, and Cross-border Money Transfer Service.” It is also “a Non-Bank Financial Institution participant of Singapore’s PayNow and FAST network.”
NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) was “incorporated on April 3, 2020, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).” As the international arm of NPCI, NIPL is “devoted to the deployment of NPCI’s indigenous, successful Real-Time Payment System – Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Card Scheme – RuPay, outside of India.”
NPCI has “developed and proved its product and technological capabilities in the domestic market by transforming payment segment in India.” Several countries aim to “establish a ‘real-time payment system’ or ‘domestic card scheme’ in their own country.
NIPL, with its knowledge and experience, “can offer these countries technological assistance through licensing, consulting for building real-time payment system to meet the rapidly evolving need of fast-growing global businesses.”