India’s National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and UAE’s Al Etihad Payments have agreed to facilitate real-time, cost-effective cross-border remittances.

NPCI is an umbrella organisation that provides payment services like UPI Payment, Bharat Bill Pay, RuPay Card, FASTag, and NACH, among others.

NPCI and Etihad have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of UAE’s domestic card scheme, based on India’s RuPay debit and credit card stack.

The MoU will facilitate the users in both countries to easily transact using a beneficiary identifier, their mobile number, or Virtual Payment Address (VPA).

It aims to enhance transparency for the users by displaying remittance amounts in both currencies with applicable charges.

Under the initiative, India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) will be integrated with UAE’s Instant Payments Platform (IPP), to enable cross-border transactions.

Also, card switches of the two countries, RuPay switch and UAESWITCH will be interlinked to facilitate the mutual acceptance of domestic cards and processing of card transactions directly.

The linkage of card switches will allow the cardholders to use their domestic cards in each other’s jurisdiction on a reciprocal basis on ATMs, PoS terminals and e-com transactions.

In addition, the integration of messaging platforms will reduce dependency on multilateral systems like SWIFT and save related costs.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI), together with NPCI International Payments (NIPL), has been engaging with the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), to integrate the fast payment systems (FPS) and bilateral acceptance of domestic cards between India and the UAE.

After several discussions on this matter, CBUAE shared a draft for collaboration on the integrations of fast payment systems, cards, and messaging systems.