RBI And Four ASEAN Countries Join ‘Project Nexus’ For Instantaneous Cross-Border Payments

Amit Mishra

Jul 02, 2024, 02:03 PM | Updated 02:22 PM IST

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) (Representative Image) (Ramesh Pathania/Mint via Getty Images)
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) (Representative Image) (Ramesh Pathania/Mint via Getty Images)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has joined “Project Nexus,” a multilateral international initiative to enhance cross-border payments by connecting multiple domestic instant payment systems (IPS) globally.

Nexus, conceptualised by the Innovation Hub of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), aims to connect the IPSs of four ASEAN countries — Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand — and India, who would be the founding members and first mover countries of this platform.

An agreement to this effect was signed by the BIS and the central banks of the founding countries i.e., Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Bank of Thailand (BOT), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and RBI on 30 June 2024, in Basel, Switzerland.

BIS will facilitate central banks and IPS operators of India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand as they work towards live implementation in the next phase, with the Bank of Indonesia as a special observer.

“The platform can be extended to more countries, going forward. The platform is expected to go live by 2026. Once functional, Nexus will play an important role in making retail cross-border payments efficient, faster, and more cost-effective,” RBI said.

The Central Bank noted that it has been collaborating bilaterally with various countries to link India’s IPS — the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), with their respective IPSs for cross-border person-to-person (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) payments.

“While India and its partner countries can continue to benefit through such bilateral connectivity of Instant Payment Systems, a multilateral approach will provide further impetus to our efforts in expanding the international reach of Indian payment systems,” RBI said.

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