Synopsis of the News:
- India and the Philippines are exploring a collaborative path for digital payment platforms and fintech cooperation
- In June, India and the Philippines formalized a memorandum of understanding (MoU) concerning financial technologies.
- This potential partnership aligns with India’s efforts to globalize its flagship UPI platform.
Recent conversations between India and the Philippines indicate an interest in fostering cooperation on digital payment platforms, as sources familiar with the matter report. While still in the preliminary stages, a potential collaboration involving India’s UPI (Unified Payments Interface) and Philippine payments firms is under consideration.
The suggestion to explore such cooperation was put forward by India’s external affairs minister, S. Jaishankar, during a meeting with his Philippine counterpart, Enrique Manalo, held in New Delhi in June. Despite attempts to inquire with the Ministry of External Affairs, no response was received at the time of press.
This potential partnership aligns with India’s efforts to globalize its flagship UPI platform. Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NPCI International, highlighted in an interview with Mint in August that interoperability with foreign payment platforms holds the potential to facilitate remittances and merchant payments. Additionally, plans are underway to expand the number of countries where UPI is operational.
In June, India and the Philippines formalized a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the realm of financial technologies.
The Embassy of India in Manila issued a press release outlining the MoU’s intentions to establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) co-chaired by representatives from the Ministries of Finance, with participation from Foreign and IT Ministries, Central Banks, financial regulatory bodies, and related agencies. The JWG aims to identify concrete measures for collaboration in innovative technologies, fintech industry advancement, digital governance, payment linkages, creation of interoperable APIs, financial inclusion, and related areas.
Finance Minister Benjamin Diokno, present during the MoU signing, emphasized the need to develop fintech solutions across various sectors, establish interoperable API and standards, bolster digital governance, promote cross-border use of digital signatures, and integrate digital fund transfer platforms.
Shambhu Kumaran, India’s Ambassador to the Philippines, advocated for the adoption of the ‘India Stack’ Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) platforms.
This potential collaboration holds the promise of simplifying money transfers for Indian workers residing in the Philippines. The Indian community in the Philippines, estimated at around 130,000 by the Bureau of Immigration, includes approximately 5,000 individuals of Indian origin who have gained Filipino citizenship, according to the Embassy of India in the Philippines.