Bhutan adopts India’s BHIM-UPI payment system

  • Bhutan has become the first country to adopt India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) standards for its quick response (QR) code. It is also the second country after Singapore to have BHIM-UPI acceptance at merchant locations, according to the NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL).
  • The payment system was launched by NIPL, the international arm of National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), in partnership with the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) of Bhutan.
  • NPCI is an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India, it is an initiative of Reserve Bank of India and Indian Banks’ Association for creating a robust payment and settlement infrastructure in India.
  • Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is India’s digital payment application (app) that works through UPI, a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application.
  • During the lockdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic, BHIM-UPI became an “effective mechanism” of payment, and in 2020-21, it processed 22 billion financial transactions worth ₹41 lakh crore.