By: Staff Writer
February 12, Colombo (LNW): India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) will be launched on 12 February, Foreign Minister Ali Sabry has told the Indian media.
“The UPI payment gateway will be signed. And I think both our leaders will connect online which will help increase tourism,” the Minister said speaking to WION diplomatic correspondent Sidhant Sibal in Perth.
“The Minister is in Perth for the Indian Ocean conference. He also pointed to the establishment of Indian IIT in his country. He said, “A delegation from Sri Lanka has gone to IIT Madras and they are discussing this possibility of establishing an IIT campus in Sri Lanka,” the WION reported.
Sri Lanka currently continues operations of the payment and settlement systems to achieve significant growth in digital transactions in 2024, Central Bank policy statement divulged.
With the view of the development of the payment and settlement regulatory framework, the Central Bank aims at revising the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, No. 28 of 2005 (PSSA)and enacting the new PSSA in 2025, to facilitate the rapid expansion of payment innovations.
Further, the Central Bank is to revise regulations to support the expansion of digital payments and to revise the existing regulatory framework to facilitate more FinTechs entering in the coming years.
In terms of strengthening the retail payment infrastructure, LankaPay (Pvt) Ltd (LPPL), under the guidance of the Central Bank, will be developing the Government Digital Payment Platform (GDPP) via the LankaPay Online Payment Platform (LPOPP), to enable government institutions to receive payments digitally from the public, CB statement highlighted.
Under this set up, Sri Lanka and India joined hands to fast track an early roll-out of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system with the view of enhancing bilateral economic cooperation significantly, State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe said.
He revealed this new development in digital payments at a meeting with Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Santosh Jha recently.
The high-level discussions, held in Colombo, transpired India’s steadfast support for Sri Lanka’s ongoing debt restructuring process and its economic recovery efforts, state minister Semasinghe disclosed.
The implementation of UPI in Sri Lanka will be expedited soon while this digital payment system, is to extend enhanced accessibility and security for transactions between the two countries.he added.
Discussions between the state minister and the Indian high c0mmissioner focused on the increased use of the Indian rupee (INR) in bilateral trade, reducing currency conversion costs and streamlining financial transactions, finance ministry sources revealed.
The Indian High Commission stated via X (Twitter) that they discussed “early launch of UPI, promoting Indian Rupee trade settlement and investments-led economic partnership.”
In July 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe signed an agreement on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) acceptance in Sri Lanka during his two-day visit to India.
Prime minister Modi noted that the governments of both India and Sri Lanka are working together on fintech sector connectivity by linking the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Lanka Pay with the aim of facilitating recurring payments digitally.