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Maldives to launch India's RuPay service despite tensions between two nations

Despite the challenges in their relationship, the Maldives is set to introduce India's RuPay service, hailed by a senior minister as a means to "strengthen the Maldivian Rufiyaa." RuPay, developed by the NPCI, stands as India's pioneering card payment network.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Male Updated on: May 23, 2024 20:31 IST

Notwithstanding the turbulence in their bilateral ties, the Maldives will soon launch India’s RuPay service, which a senior minister has said "will bolster the Maldivian Rufiyaa." RuPay, a product of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), is the first of its global card payment network in India, with wide acceptance at ATMs, POS devices, and e-commerce websites across India.

Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed while announcing how both India and China have agreed to use local currency in bilateral trade, spoke about the upcoming launch of India’s RuPay. "The upcoming launch of India's RuPay service is anticipated to further bolster the Maldivian rufiyaa (MVR),” Saeed told state-run PSM News on Wednesday.

He also emphasised that “addressing the dollar issue and reinforcing the MVR is a top priority for the current administration. However, there has been no announcement of any date for the launch.

Last week, a news portal, CorporateMaldives.com, reported that Saeed conveyed that the card will be "formally utilised for transactions denominated in rupees within Maldivian territory." "We are currently engaged in discussions with India to explore avenues for facilitating payments in rupees," the minister said.

An India-Maldives joint statement during the official visit of the then President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to India in August 2022 said: “The two leaders welcomed the ongoing work to operationalize the usage of Rupay Cards in Maldives and agreed to consider further measures to boost bilateral travel and tourism and economic inter-linkages.”

Over the last few years, multiple banks and payment companies from across various countries have partnered with NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), the international arm of NPCI, to accept UPI and RuPay in one form or the other.

Ever since pro-China President Mohamed Muizzu assumed power last November, the relations between the Maldives and India have soured. The repatriation of 80 plus Indian military personnel manning three aviation platforms earlier this month from the archipelago nation at his insistence has left a bitter note on bilateral ties.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: Did Indian Navy helicopter land in Maldives without approval in 2019? India issues clarification


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