Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with Finance Minister of Bhutan Lyonpo Namgay Tshering launched BHIM-UPI in Bhutan on July 13, 2021, via a virtual ceremony.
With this launch, Bhutan became the first country to adopt India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) standards for its Quick Response (QR) code, the Ministry of External Affairs stated in a press release.
This launch also made Bhutan the second country after Singapore to have BHIM-UPI acceptance at merchant locations.
During the launch, Sitharaman also carried out a Live transaction using the BHIM-UPI app to purchase organic products from a Bhutanese OGOP outlet.
India and Bhutan have already operationalized inter-operability for accepting Rupay cards in each other’s countries in two phases following the visit of PM Narendra Modi to Bhutan in 2019.
✅FM Smt. @nsitharaman & FM of Bhutan Mr Lyonpo Namgay Tshering @BhutanFinance virtually launch BHIM–UPI in Bhutan
✅Launch fulfils the commitment made by two countries during PM Shri @NarendraModi visit to Bhutan in 2019
— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia)
July 13, 2021
Launch of BHIM-UPI in Bhutan: Key highlights
• BHIM-UPI app has been launched in Bhutan in a collaboration between the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan to enable and implement BHIM-UPI QR-based payments in Bhutan.
• The app was launched by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a virtual ceremony along with Finance Minister of Bhutan Lyonpo Namgay Tshering, Governor of Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan Dasho Penjore, Ambassador of India to Bhutan Ruchira Kamboj, Ambassador of Bhutan to India General V Namgyel, Secretary-Department of Financial Services Debasish Panda, MD & CEO of NPCI Dilip Asbe.
• While launching the BHIM-UPI app in Bhutan, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said:
(i) The services for BHIM-UPI in Bhutan have been launched under India’s neighbhourhood first policy.
(ii) BHIM-UPI is an achievement for digital transactions in India during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(iii) More than 100 million UPI QRs have been generated in the past 5 years.
(iv) In 2020-21, BHIM-UPI processed 22 billion transactions worth Rs 41 lakh crore.
Significance of launch of BHIM-UPI in Bhutan
• The launch of BHIM-UPI in Bhutan has enabled the seamless connection of the payment infrastructures of both countries.
• The app now in Bhutan will also benefit more than 200,000 Indian tourists, businessmen, and Bhutanese citizens who travel to Bhutan each year.