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Updated July 14th, 2021 at 09:02 IST

Bhutan becomes first country to adopt India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI): Fin Min

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched BHIM-UPI services in Bhutan in a virtual ceremony, making it the first neighboring country to adopt the services

Vidyashree S
Bhutan
Credit: PTI/WWW BHIMUPI ORG/MOF GOV BT | Image:self
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On Tuesday, July 13, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched BHIM-UPI services in Bhutan via a virtual press conference. With this launch, Bhutan becomes the first country to adopt India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and the second country after Singapore to have BHIM-UPI acceptance at merchant locations. 

Addressing the virtual meet, Nirmala Sitharaman said that the launched service will help Indian tourists visiting “the land of happiness”. 

She further informed, "BHIM UPI is one of the achievements of India in terms of fintech in which India invested a lot. We have also encouraged our start-ups to come up with solutions. Therefore, BHIM UPI stands out as one of the very good successful experiments that we have undertaken". 

Lyonpo Namgay Tshering, Finance Minister of Bhutan, was present at the virtual launch ceremony where Nirmal Sitaraman initiated a live transaction using BHIM-UPI and purchased a product from a Bhutanese One Gewog One Product (OGOP) shop, to demonstrate its effectiveness and speed. 

NPCI collaborates with the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan

After UPI's success in India, the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) in collaboration with the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan has launched BHIM-UPI in Bhutan. 

In a press release, the NPCI stated that all merchants acquired by the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan will accept UPI QR transactions. And more than 2 lakh Indian tourists who travel to Bhutan every year and the Bhutanese citizens will be benefitted from this launch. 

Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), the international arm of NPCI, which inked the deal with Bhutan's central banking authority, said, “Our vision has always been focused on taking our robust and popular payments solutions to global markets".

COVID-19 pandemic and BHIM services

Indian Finance Minister informed that during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, UPI was one of the brightest spots for India with nearly 22 billion transactions worth Rs 41 lakh crore being processed by the platform. 

In the NPCI press release, it stated that in 2020, UPI enabled commerce worth $457 billion, equivalent to nearly 15 percent of India's GDP.  UPI payment through GooglePay and PhonePe has overtaken debit card payments and transactions.

(Image credit: PTI/WWW BHIMUPI ORG/MOF GOV BT)

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Published July 14th, 2021 at 09:01 IST

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