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Namibia signs on for India's UPI tech

Namibia signs on for India's UPI tech

The Bank of Namibia has called in NPCI International Payments to help the southern African country develop an instant payments system based on India's hugely successful UPI.

Namibia will tap into the technology and expertise behind India's UPI to develop real-time P2P and merchant payments. NIPL says it will help Namibia modernise its financial ecosystem, boosting the accessibility, affordability and connectivity for both domestic and international payment networks.

Launched in 2016, the UPI has been central to India's efforts to use digital payments to boost financial inclusion and has now handled well over 100 billion transactions.

The NPCI international subsidiary was set up in 2020 to push the UPI, as well as the RuPay card network, outside of India. Earlier this year, the unit struck a deal with Nepal's largest payment network and it has also joined forces with Google Pay to accelerate global expansion.

Johannes Gawaxab, governor, Bank of Namibia, says: "Our objective is to enhance accessibility and affordability for underserved populations, achieve full interoperability of payment instruments by 2025, modernize the financial sector, and ensure a secure and efficient National Payment System.

"This endeavour, aligned with the Bank's Strategic Plan and NPS Vision and Strategy 2025, deliberately employs a central bank-led approach to minimize infrastructure costs for financial institutions, thereby ensuring the sustainability and affordability of instant payment solutions for end users.

"This system aims to connect individuals, businesses, and government entities across Namibia, including the payment of social grants, enabling more efficient economic interactions and supporting the growth of digital entrepreneurship."

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