India and Russia exploring possibility of accepting RuPay and Mir cards

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India and Russia have discussed the possibility of accepting each other’s domestic payment cards, RuPay and Mir, for hassle-free payments amidst the sanctions imposed on Russia by Western countries. The decision was made during the recent Internal Governmental Commission meeting on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC), co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Russia Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov.

The mutual acceptance of RuPay and Mir cards would allow Indian and Russian citizens to make payments in Indian rupees and Russian ruble in their respective countries. Additionally, the meeting also agreed to explore the possibility of interaction of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of National Payment Corporation of India and the Faster Payments System (FPS) of the Bank of Russia, as well as adopting the Russian financial messaging system, Services Bureau of Financial Messaging System of the Bank of Russia, for cross-border payments.

Currently, overseas payments from India and vice versa are carried out through the SWIFT network, which would still be used in case other options are not feasible. The recent launch of the cross-border connectivity between UPI and PayNow between India and Singapore will facilitate faster and cost-efficient digital transfers between the two countries, benefitting the Indian diaspora in Singapore, especially migrant workers and students.

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The UPI was launched in 2016 and has since emerged as the most popular payment mode, accounting for 75% of the total digital payments in India. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) operates retail payments and settlement systems in the country through a bouquet of retail payment products such as RuPay card, Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), UPI, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), BHIM Aadhaar, National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC Fastag), and Bharat BillPay.

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