Sitharaman and Bhutanese FM Namgay Tshering launch BHIM–UPI in Bhutan
New Delhi, July 13, 2021
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Bhutanese counterpart Lyonpo Namgay Tshering jointly launched BHIM–UPI in Bhutan in a virtual ceremony today.
The function was also attended by the Minister of State (Finance) Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, the Governor of the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan Dasho Penjore, Secretary, Department of Financial Services Debasish Panda, Indian Ambassador to Bhutan Ruchira Kamboj, the Ambassador of Bhutan to India, General V. Namgyel, and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) MD and CEO Dilip Asbe.
Sitharaman said the services have started in Bhutan under India's neighbourhood first policy. “India is proud of our achievement and feel pleasure in sharing it with our valued neighbour.
“BHIM UPI is one of the brightest spots and achievements for digital transactions in India during the time of COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 100 million UPI QRs having been created in the last five years, BHIM UPI in 2020-21 has processed 22 billion transactions worth Rs 41 lakh crore.
Tshering thanked India for the launch of BHIM-UPI services in Bhutan and added that the bond between the two countries was becoming stronger each passing day.
An official press release said the launch fulfilled the commitment made by the two countries during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s State visit to Bhutan in 2019. Following that visit, India and Bhutan have already enabled inter-operability in acceptance of Rupay cards in each other’s countries in two phases – acceptance of Rupay cards issued in India at Bhutan based terminals in the first phase and vice versa in the second phase.
With today’s launch of BHIM-UPI in Bhutan, the payment infrastructures of the two countries are seamlessly connected and will benefit a large number of tourists and businessmen from India who travel to Bhutan each year. This will enhance the ease of living and ease of travelling through cashless transactions at the touch of a button.
As a part of the launch, Sitharaman also made a live transaction using BHIM-UPI to purchase an organic product from a Bhutanese OGOP outlet, which sells fresh farm produce made organically by local communities in Bhutan.
Bhutan is the first country to adopt UPI standards for its QR deployment, and the first country in India's immediate neighbourhood to accept mobile-based payments through the BHIM App.