Digital India Initiatives

RuPay and UPI rolled out in Mauritius, Sri Lanka


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: RuPay and UPI

Mains level: Rupee as regional and global currency


  • RBI has announced the establishment of RuPay card and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) connectivity between India and Mauritius, as well as UPI connectivity between India and Sri Lanka.
  • This initiative aims to deepen financial integration and facilitate digital payments among citizens of the three countries.

Discussion: Rupee Integration with Neighbours

  • UPI in Mauritius: Indian travellers visiting Mauritius can now pay merchants in Mauritius using UPI, while Mauritian travellers can utilize the Instant Payment System (IPS) app for payments in India.
  • RuPay Adoption: The MauCAS card scheme in Mauritius will leverage RuPay technology, allowing banks to issue RuPay cards domestically. These cards can be used at ATMs and Point of Sale (PoS) terminals in Mauritius and India.
  • First Adoption: Mauritius becomes the first country outside Asia to implement RuPay technology, enabling acceptance of Indian RuPay cards at ATMs and PoS terminals within Mauritius.
  • QR Code Payments in SL: Indian travellers can make QR code-based payments at merchant locations in Sri Lanka using their UPI apps.

About RuPay and UPI

[A] RuPay Debit Cards

Launch Year 2012
Conceived by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)
Key Features First global card payment network of India

Wide acceptance at ATMs, POS devices, and e-commerce websites

Security Measures Highly secure network against anti-phishing

Supports electronic payments at all Indian banks and financial institutions

International Acceptance NPCI maintains ties with Discover Financial, JCB for international acceptance
Issuers More than 1100 banks including public sector, private, regional banks, and cooperatives
Core Promoter Banks SBI, PNB, Canara Bank, BOB, Union Bank of India, Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Citibank, HSBC


[B] Unified Payments Interface (UPI)

Launch April 11, 2016
Developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)
Key Features Enables simple, easy, and quick transactions using Unified Payments Interface (UPI)
Payment Methods Direct bank payments using UPI ID or QR code scanning

Requesting money from a UPI ID

Working Transfers using UPI ID, mobile number, QR code, or Virtual Payment Address.

Offers consistent transaction PIN across apps, enhancing cross-operability.

Supports push and pull transactions, over-the-counter payments, and recurring payments such as utility bills and subscriptions.


Countries where UPI works

Bhutan Launched in July 13, 2021.

Partnership between NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL) and the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) of Bhutan.

First country to adopt UPI.

Oman Launched on October 4, 2022.

Enables acceptance of Indian RuPay cards at all OmanNet network ATMs, POS & E-commerce sites.

Allows reciprocal acceptance of Oman cards/MPCSS in the networks of NPCI in India.

Mauritius Connectivity allows Indian visitors in Mauritius to use UPI for local payments, and vice versa for Mauritian tourists in India using the Instant Payment System (IPS) app.

Enables issuance of RuPay cards by banks in Mauritius through the MauCAS card network.

Sri Lanka Digital payments connectivity enables Indian travellers to make QR code-based payments at merchant locations in Sri Lanka using their UPI apps.
Nepal Nepali users can make bank transfers to India using a unified payment interface (UPI) ID through mobile banking.
France UPI service launched at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France this year.

Partnership between NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) and Lyra, a French leader in securing e-commerce and proximity payments.

Southeast Asia Agreement signed between NIPL and Liquid Group to enable QR-based UPI payments in 10 countries: Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.


Why such move?

  • Tourism Promotion: Facilitating digital payments through RuPay and UPI encourages tourists from India to visit Mauritius and Sri Lanka by providing them with convenient payment options.
  • Financial Integration: The rollout of RuPay and UPI fosters closer economic ties between India, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka by enabling cross-border transactions and financial services.
  • Diversification (away from Maldives): By providing modern payment infrastructure and options comparable to those in popular tourist destinations like Mauritius and Sri Lanka can attract more tourists and diversify their tourism sectors.

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