Launch of RuPay in Bhutan to further India’s Digital Payments capabilities

Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Dr. Lotay Tshering launched the second phase of the RuPay service in Bhutan on November 20, 2020

November 19, 2020

Users can access RuPay facilities at ATMs and Points of transactions both in India and Bhutan.

PhonePe and Google Pay had an 81% share in the Digital Payment ecosystem in India in October according to NPCI.

COVID-19 has ushered in increased Digital Payment adoption by brick-and-mortar institutions.

UPI and BHIM transactions have recovered by 122% and 91% in June 2020 since the lockdown was announced.

November 20, 2020 saw the launch of the second phase of the RuPay card in Bhutan under the leadership of Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Dr. Lotay Tshering. This second phase has been planned for a little over a year since the implementation of Phase-I. Once completed, Indian and Bhutanese users of the RuPay facility can access the network at ATMS and relevant points of transaction across both nations. This venture elevates the scope of Indo-Bhutanese bilateral relations which have hitherto been concentrated in the domains of trade, power and renewable energy, economic and trade relations, logistics and security. 

In a similar vein, the wider use of digital payment applications as attested by the October report by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) opens up yet another significant avenue for bilateral collaboration. The data chiefly reveals that PhonePe and Google Pay had an 81% market share of the Digital Payments ecosystem in India with PayTM and Amazon Pay following behind. Retail avenues, the travel sector and e-commerce platforms are understood to be the chief sites of Digital Payment transactions. With the arrival of COVID-19 pandemic, experts predicted the increased adoption of Digital Payments facilities by brick-and-mortar in the interest of business continuity. According to KPMG data, the volume of UPI transactions recovered from the lockdown induced lull by 122% and BHIM transactions by 91% by June 2020. 

The capping of digital payments based transactions by the NCPI to 30% has ushered in discussions on how the relatively nascent sector could benefit from conducive regulations and policy making. The swift and contactless onboarding of merchants and customers can help accelerate growth within the sector. There is scope to engage extensively with rural consumers and educate them about the availability of Digital Payments technology in order to complement the proliferation of quality connectivity  in rural regions across the country. Awareness drives tailored to the requirements of every type of end user can help increase Digital Payment adoption at a larger scale in India.