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India partners with Ghana, Namibia towards instant payment systems

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India has partnered with Ghana's government and Bank of Namibia to link its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to allow users to make instant, low-cost fund transfers.

In Ghana, UPI will link with Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GHIPSS) and Bank of Namibia will partner with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to support the development of an instant payment system like UPI.

UPI is an instant payment system and protocol that allows for inter-bank peer-to-peer (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions.

Furthermore, Ghana's Department of Commerce said Ghana and India are in discussions regarding the possibilities of a memorandum of understanding on digital transformation solutions; a local currency settlement system and the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The collaborations were discussed during an Indian delegation's visit to Ghana's Department of Commerce late last week.

In a post on the social media platform X, Ghana's Department of Commerce said the two countries agreed to work expeditiously toward the operationalization of NPCI's UPI on Ghana's GHIPSS within six months.

NPCI partners with Bank of Namibia

NPCI also announced its partnership with Bank of Namibia to support it in developing a UPI-like real-time payment system in the Southern African country.

Bank of Namibia Governor Johannes Gawaxab and NPCI International CEO Ritesh Shukla.   (Source: Bank of Namibia).
Bank of Namibia Governor Johannes Gawaxab and NPCI International CEO Ritesh Shukla.
(Source: Bank of Namibia).

Namibia's central bank said the objective behind the collaboration is to improve accessibility, affordability, connectivity with both domestic and international payment networks, and interoperability in the country.

"Our objective is to enhance accessibility and affordability for underserved populations, achieve full interoperability of payment instruments by 2025, modernize the financial sector, and ensure a secure and efficient National Payment System," Bank of Namibia Governor Johannes Gawaxab said in a statement.

"This system aims to connect individuals, businesses, and government entities across Namibia, including the payment of social grants, enabling more efficient economic interactions and supporting the growth of digital entrepreneurship," he continued.

NPCI International CEO Ritesh Shukla said the collaboration will enable Namibian citizens to transact instantly leveraging technology and experiences from India's UPI.

"By enabling this technology, the country will gain sovereignty in the digital payments landscape and stand to benefit from enhanced payment interoperability and improved financial access for underserved populations," Shukla added.

Follow Connecting Africa on our new X account @connect__africa to get the latest telecoms and tech news across Africa.

India's UPI has already expanded to countries like the United Arab Emirates as well as Singapore and the country is in talks with Nigeria to implement the same thing.

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*Top image is of the Indian delegation and Ghana's Department of Commerce delegation. (Source: Ghana's Department of Commerce).

Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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