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Singapore exploring collaboration opportunities with India on digital public infrastructure: Official

India's Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier said ONDC can transform the e-commerce sector in India and abroad like the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

January 17, 2023 / 01:13 PM IST


Singapore is looking at collaborating with India in the area of digital public infrastructure on the lines of a national identity system like Aadhaar, an official of the island country's central bank said.

Another potential opportunity could be the integration of Singapore's 'Proxtera' (global digital hub of MSME ecosystems) with India's Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), he said.

"India is a technology superpower in advanced digital public infrastructure (DPI), making it an ideal partner for us to collaborate. We look forward to associations with regard to our national identification infrastructure similar to Aadhaar in India," Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Chief Fintech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty told PTI.

"Connecting Proxtera with India's ONDC could be another possibility, enabling cross-border opportunities and greater financial empowerment for small businesses of both countries," Mohanty said.

India's Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier said ONDC can transform the e-commerce sector in India and abroad like the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

Mohanty was part of the delegation at the recent Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion meeting of the G20 held in Kolkata.

He also said an interoperability arrangement between UPI and a similar network of Singapore -- PayNow -- could become official soon.

This could become a "global model" for such bilateral or multilateral interoperability projects of payments and remittances, Mohanty said.

Singapore already has remittance interoperability of PayNow with Thailand.

"I would argue that the partnership model of Singapore and India in digital payment interoperability can become a global model for remittances and payments.

"We have gone through a rigorous multi-stakeholder governance process, driven by a strong sense of financial inclusion with actual use case focus, which is required for any project that involves DPI," Mohanty said, elaborating on the UPI-PayNow interoperability.

Batting for reduction of remittance costs, he said through UPI, PayNow and such payments networks, service providers can facilitate the exchange of consent-based financial information about the sender, which will open up innovative credit solutions for beneficiaries of remittances.

The MAS official said it is also possible to extend other financial services like micro-pension and micro-insurance products through these payment networks.

G20 leaders are understood to have discussed a wide range of issues on digital financial inclusion, remittances and availability of finance for SMEs during the three-day meeting in Kolkata from January 9-11.

first published: Jan 17, 2023 01:13 pm