The Honourable Prime Minister of Mauritius, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, together with the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, and the Honourable President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, have today, Monday 12th February, witnessed the virtual launch of the RuPay and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) link between Mauritius and India. The Governor of the Bank of Mauritius (BoM), Mr. Harvesh Kumar Seegolam, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Shri Shaktikanta Das, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Dr P. Nandalal Weerasinghe were also present at the launch.
This new payment infrastructure will enable customers of participating banks to make seamless and secure payments in both Mauritius and India. RuPay cards issued in Mauritius will be accepted at ATMs and Point of Sales (POS) terminals in India, and Indians will be able to make UPI QR transactions at participating merchants in Mauritius.
In his address, the Prime Minister stated that the Indian RuPay Card and UPI system is a flagship project of the Government of India in Mauritius and Sri Lanka to enable seamless cross-border financial transactions in a faster and more efficient manner. “India and Mauritius share strong cultural, commercial and people-to-people ties and today we are adding another dimension to this relationship with the launch of the new payment system”, he underlined. The BoM’s collaboration with the National Payments Corporation of India and the Reserve Bank of India has marked a new chapter in the history of payments in Mauritius.
He indicated that the system would enable Indians visiting Mauritius to effect payment by scanning merchants’ QR Codes with their mobile applications and likewise for Mauritians visiting in India. Payments will be instantaneous and in domestic currency with direct conversion, thus eliminating the need for their currency, which according to him, will be faster, cheaper, and more secure. He pointed out that the RuPay Card, which has been co-branded with our national payment switch, MauCAS will be designated as a domestic card in Mauritius.
Access to digital services and digital public infrastructure as well as leveraging the opportunities of digital transformation to boost sustainable and inclusive growth is our utmost priority, affirmed Prime Minister Jugnauth. Mauritius, he stated, has already embarked on its digital transformation and a key highlight of this journey is an efficient, fast, and cheap payment system. The BoM, he accentuated, has been at the forefront of developing payment systems to promote orderly and balanced economic development.
Speaking on the innovative digital platform, MauCAS, he noted that it has revolutionised the payment landscape in Mauritius, with the vibrant ecosystem of private banks and non-bank payment service providers driving innovation and Fintech developments. Rapidly evolving technologies are driving a shift towards digital payments and the bank has transformed the domestic payments landscape into an enabling environment for new operators, services, and products, observed the Prime Minister.
Moreover, he expressed his sincere gratitude to the Government of India for lending its expertise and support to leverage on the digital transformation of the country.
As for his Indian counterpart, Shri Narendra Modi, he emphasized that launching the project creates modern digital links among three friendly countries in the Indian Ocean region. “This bears testimony to our commitment to the development of our people by enhancing Fintech connectivity and strengthening cross-border transactions and links”, he stated.
India’s digital public infrastructure has brought about a revolutionary change through the implementation of a faster and more effective mode of payment, he indicated. Last year, a record of 100 billion transactions worth two trillion Indian rupees took place through UPI, which he said, is remarkable. India, he pointed out, has made significant strides in expanding the network of its digital payment systems in several countries, including Nepal, Singapore, and the UAE.
Regarding the RuPay Card and UPI system, he is confident that the new payment mode will boost digital transformation, drive significant changes in local economies, and promote tourism. “We can also move towards cross-border remittances or person-to-person payment facilities,” he said, reiterating his continued support to friendly countries.
With this connectivity, an Indian traveller to Mauritius will be able to pay a merchant in Mauritius using UPI. Similarly, a Mauritian traveller will be able to do the same in India using the Instant Payment System (IPS) application of Mauritius. Furthermore, with the adoption of RuPay technology, the MauCAS card scheme of Mauritius will enable banks in Mauritius to issue RuPay cards domestically. Such cards can be used at ATMs and POS terminals in Mauritius as well as in India. This will make Mauritius the first country outside Asia to issue cards using RuPay technology. Indian RuPay cards would also be accepted at ATMs and POS terminals in Mauritius.
Commenting on the new payment service, the Governor of the Bank of Mauritius, Mr. Harvesh Kumar Seegolam, stated that “the launch of the RuPay and UPI link between Mauritius and India marks a significant milestone in our efforts to enhance financial connectivity and promote digital transactions. This collaboration will not only facilitate seamless and secure cost-effective payments for our customers but will also strengthen the economic ties between our two nations“.
RuPay Card, India’s home-grown global card network, is now available to SBIML customers in Mauritius. SBIML offers its customers access to a wide network of ATMs and Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals across India and Mauritius through MaUCAS (Mauritius Central Automated Switch), a joint venture between BOM, NIPL, RBI, and the Government of India. This move is expected to increase competition among card service providers in Mauritius, ultimately benefiting customers, merchants and the banks involved.