Your Excellency Prime Minister Lee,
Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore,
Governor of Reserve Bank of India,
My friends from India and Singapore,
The friendship between India and Singapore is very old and has always stood the test of time. Our people-to-people relationship has been its mainstay. The launch of the UPI-Pay Now link today is a gift for the citizens of both countries that they have been eagerly waiting for. I congratulate the people of India and Singapore on this occasion.
In today's world, technology connects us in variety of ways. FinTech is also such a sector, which connects people to each other. Normally, its scope is limited within the borders of a country. But, today's launch opens a new chapter in cross-border FinTech connectivity.
After today, people in Singapore and India will be able to transfer money from their mobile phones in the same way as they do inside their respective countries. This will help the people of both countries to transfer funds from their mobiles instantly, at a low cost. With this facility, cheap and real-time option of remittance transfer between the two countries will be possible. This will especially benefit our overseas brothers and sisters, professionals, students and their families.
Over the years, India has accorded the highest priority to creating an enabling environment for innovation and modernization. Additionally, our Digital India program has improved the ease of doing business and ease of living in India. This has also given unprecedented momentum to financial inclusion along with digital connectivity.
The Digital India campaign has also made possible unprecedented reforms in governance and public service delivery. It is the strength of India's digital infrastructure that during the Covid pandemic, we were able to transfer money directly to the bank accounts of crores of people.
Five years ago, I said in Singapore, that FinTech is a huge celebration of innovation and belief in youth-energy. India's success in FinTech and digital revolution is led by our technology-trained youth. Today, thousands of Start-ups in India are making their mark in the world of FinTech. Due to this energy, today India is among the leading countries in the world in terms of real-time digital transactions.
Today UPI has become the most preferred payment mechanism in India. Both merchants and consumers are adopting it more and more. Therefore, today many experts are speculating that soon digital-wallet transactions in India will exceed cash transactions. In the last year i.e. 2022, about 126 lakh crore rupees, i.e. more than 2 trillion Singapore dollars, transactions have taken place through UPI. If I talk about the number of transactions, then it is also more than 7400 crores. This shows how India’s UPI system is handling a large number of people easily and securely.
The good thing is that UPI's partnership with different countries is also increasing. Singapore is the first country with which Person to Person payment facility has been launched today. I extend my heartiest congratulations to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Reserve Bank of India, and all those involved in making this effort a success.
I once again congratulate the people of both the countries and I also express my heartfelt gratitude to the Prime Minister.
DISCLAIMER - This is the approximate translation of External Affairs Minister’s remarks. Original remarks were delivered in Hindi.