PM Modi launches BHIM, RuPay ans SBI app in Singapore

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31 May launched three Indian mobile payment apps in Singapore at a business event aimed at increasing the global outreach of the country's digital payment platforms.

At the 'Business, Innovation and Community’ event, where ‘digital platform’ was the main theme, Modi launched India's BHIM, RuPay and SBI app.

The RuPay digital payments system was linked with Singapore's 33-year-old Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS). RuPay users will be able to make payments at all NETS acceptance points across Singapore.

Holders of Singapore NETS will be able to make online purchases on the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) e-commerce merchant website, using 2.8 million RuPay point-of-sale terminals in India.

Industry observers said it would create multi-billion dollar worth of transactions as some five million Indians travel to and transit through Singapore, internationalising RuPay beginning with the first cross border usage.

Also, a new app-based rupee remittance mode of the SBI's Singapore branch was launched at the event.

“In order to expand our remittance offering, we are launching rupee remittance to India through United Payments Interface (UPI),” said SBI country head in Singapore, Soma Sankara Prasad.

Singapore branch of the SBI is the first to launch this new mode of remittance in collaboration with NPCI.

"This is a major step towards the internationalisation of India's digital payment platform," Prasad said.

It will be most convenient for Indian blue-collar workers in Singapore to use the app for sending money home from their dormitories at work sites, he said.

Remittance of up to Rs 1,00,000 will be made quick, easy and convenient with the help of Virtual Payment Address (VPA). This service will be available to all savings account holders of SBI Singapore. SBI has six branches in Singapore as well as Auto Teller Machines (ATMs).

PM Modi had also visited the India-Singapore Enterprise and Innovation Exhibition at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre and viewed an exhibition of 30 startups from the two countries. He was joined by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran.

The day-long exhibition, InSpreneur 2.0, is an initiative spearheaded by the Indian High Commission.

It is very interesting to see both India and Singapore collaborating in med-tech, Artificial Intelligence and deep technologies. And platforms like this will get encouraged by the Prime Minister Modi.
~ Girija Pande, chairman of Apex Avlon Consuling

Among 30 startups are iNICU Medical which monitors health of premature babies, Citta.AI, a remote health monitoring and Precision Grid for monitoring soil and crop yields.

Such health technologies are going to democratise health services in India, said Deep Singhania, advisor to Citta.AI.

"These tech startups will reach out to mass population in India and Southeast Asia," he said.

"With our NEO BOT and IoT based device in built with artificial intelligence to predict the onset of infection in pre-symptomatic stage," said Ravneet Kaur, co-founder of iNICO.

About one million of the 27 million babies every year dies with 27 days of life due pre-maturity and infection, she said.