India and the Philippines are exploring cooperation on digital payments platforms, according to persons aware of the matter. While conversations are currently in preliminary stages, cooperation between India’s UPI and Philippine payments firms may be on the table.
Queries to the ministry of external affairs remained unanswered at press time.
Such a development would be in line with India’s push to internationalize its flagship UPI platform.
In an interview with Mint in August, NPCI International CEO Ritesh Shukla stated that interoperability with the payments platforms of foreign partners will enable remittances as well as merchant payments.
India and the Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on financial technologies in June.
“The MOU envisages the constitution of a Joint Working Group (JWG) co-chaired at the Undersecretary level from the Ministries of Finance, and comprising senior representatives from Foreign and IT Ministries, Central Banks, financial sector regulatory institutions and other related agencies as members. The JWG would identify concrete measures for partnership in innovative technologies; fintech industry, digital governance; payment linkages; creation of interoperable APIs; financial inclusion and other related areas,” reads a press release from India’s Embassy in Manila.
Finance minister Benjamin Diokno, who was present at the signing of the MoU stated that the focus should be on “including development of fintech solutions across business and financial sectors; creation of inter-operable standards for Application Programming Interface (API) thereby strengthening digital governance; promoting use of digital signatures across borders and mainstreaming digital fund transfer platforms, among others.”