Phone Pe and Lanka Pay sign agreement allowing Indians to make payments in SL.

Indians travelling to Sri Lanka will no longer have to worry about converting currency or carrying extra cash since now they can use India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in the island nation.

An Indian company called PhonePe has entered into a partnership with LankaPay enabling Indian travellers to easily scan QR codes and make secure and speedy payments.

The transactions will be facilitated by the UPI and LankaPay National Payment Network.

When a visitor from India uses PhonePe to make UPI payments in Sri Lanka, the amount will be debited in Indian rupees or INR, and the currency exchange rate will be shown to him.

Meanwhile, the merchant will get the settlement in Lankan rupees.

PhonePe and LankaPay’s collaboration took place on Wednesday (May 15, 2024) and as per media reports, the very next day (on Thursday, May 16), the island nation saw Indian tourists arriving at the airport in Colombo making payments using UPI.

India’s UPI services were rolled out in Sri Lanka and Mauritius on February 12, 2024, during a virtual ceremony where the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders of the two island nations, President Ranil Wickremesinghe (Sri Lanka) and PM Pravind Jugnauth (Mauritius)attended

Sri Lanka, which faced its worst economic crisis a couple of years ago, is now gradually recovering. The island nation relies heavily on tourism and is again becoming one of the biggest hotspots for Indian travellers and an alternative to Maldives after New Delhi and Male’s diplomatic ties hit a new low in recent months.

The PhonePe digital payments app, which was launched in August 2016, now boasts having more than 520 million registered users and a digital payments acceptance network of 38 million merchants. It processes over 230 million daily transactions.

PhonePe’s CEO, International Payments, Ritesh Pai, told Legacy Daily that this facility offers unparalleled convenience to Indian tourists and business travellers during their stay in Sri Lanka as they can now use a familiar and secure payment method while travelling and paying across LankaQR merchant points.

“This collaboration would provide the merchants with a cost-effective proposition to card payments,” LankaPay CEO Channa de Silva said.

Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe informed reporters that the collaboration will unlock new opportunities, enhance competitiveness and bringg many benefits to merchants of the island nation.

Speaking at the event, Santosh Jha, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, said the UPI launch is an important part of a larger goal for both countries to collaborate through a digital partnership.

“India is also supporting Sri Lanka in the development of its Unique Digital Identity Program and other components of the Digital Stack that has immense transformative potential for Sri Lanka and the bilateral economic partnership,” Jha said.