Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry has announced the upcoming launch of India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) technology in Sri Lanka, scheduled for February 12th.

During an interview with WION News diplomatic correspondent Sidhant Sibal in Perth, Sabry expressed that the UPI payment gateway agreement will be signed, with both countries’ leaders expected to connect online for the event, emphasizing its potential to boost tourism.

UPI, developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), is an instant real-time payment system facilitating inter-bank peer-to-peer and person-to-merchant transactions.

Minister Sabry, currently in Perth for the Indian Ocean conference, also highlighted discussions regarding the establishment of an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus in Sri Lanka, following a delegation visit to IIT Madras.

Notably, France became the first European country to accept digital payments from India, including for Eiffel Tower tickets, via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

In February of the previous year, India and Singapore launched the linkage between UPI and PayNow to enable instant and cost-effective cross-border payments between the two nations, allowing transfers from India to Singapore using mobile numbers and vice versa.

India has been actively pursuing initiatives to reduce the costs associated with cross-border transactions, with Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor T Rabi Sankar highlighting in September 2023 the need to address the elevated costs despite the availability of inexpensive data connectivity.

In October 2023, the NPCI signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Al Etihad Payments of Abu Dhabi to facilitate cross-border transactions, and discussions are ongoing with the United States, European countries, and West Asian countries to expand UPI services internationally.

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