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India and Singapore sign fintech MoU amidst ongoing joint projects

India and Singapore signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a joint working group (JWG) to strengthen cooperation in financial innovation between the two countries.

The MoU was signed between the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) of India and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The JWG will be co-chaired by MAS deputy managing director Jacqueline Loh and India Department of Financial Services (DFS) additional secretary Ravi Mital.

The ball is already rolling in terms of fintech collaboration between the two countries, with previous partnerships having taken place.

Most notably, NETS, Singapore’s payment system operator, partnered with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), to establish a cross-border payment linkage between Singapore’s PayNow and India’s Immediate Payment Service (IMPS).

This partnership is aimed to boost trade, tourist and remittances through real-time fund transfer between bank accounts in the respective countries.

At the moment, NETS and NPCI are working to allow NETS payment cards payments at RuPay merchants in India, as well as RuPay card payments at NETS payment points.

NETS and NPCI are also entertaining the use of Indian national mobile payments app, the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app, to pay at NETS merchants.

Jawed Ashraf, high commissioner of the Republic of India to Singapore, highlighted the importance that biometrics identity methods will have in a country with such density of population. “It has prompted financial inclusion, digital payments and innovation on an extraordinary scale.”

“Our partnership will not only support our two nations’ progress in fintech, but also help drive our international competitiveness and success in this area,” he adds.

The MoU was signed a visit by India’s prime minister Narendra Modi to Singapore in June 2018, and was witnessed by both himself and his Singaporean homologous Lee Hsien Loong.

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