Bhutan has become the first country to adopt India's Unified Payment Interface (UPI) after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched BHIM-UPI services in Bhutan virtually on Tuesday, July 13.
It is the second country in the world after Singapore to have BHIM-UPI acceptance at merchant locations, reported Hindustan Times.
National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) is the organisation that handles retail payments and settlement systems in India. An initiative of the Reserve Bank of India and Indian Banks' Association, it has been working towards creating a robust payment and settlement infrastructure in the country.
The digital infrastructure, including the BHIM UPI, has played a crucial role for the citizens amid the pandemic. During the address, Sitharaman said that the move was in line with India's neighbourhood first policy.
Helps Indians Visiting "Land Of Happiness"
During the launch, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that it will help Indian tourists visiting "the land of happiness".
"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," she further added, reported The Hindustan Times.
Bharat Interface For Money (BHIM) is a digital payment app launched by the Indian government and it works through UPI, which is a system that enables multiple bank accounts into a single mobile operation.
Effective Mechanism During Lockdown
During the COVID-induced lockdown, the BHIM-UPI app proved to be an effective mechanism of payment in disbursing money. According to the report, in 2020-21, the app processed 22 billion financial transactions worth ₹41 lakh crore.