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AMF signs MoU with NPCI International Payments Limited to facilitate cross-border payments via Buna and Unified Payment Interface (UPI)

This MoU strengthens Buna’s role as a payment gateway that links Arab countries and the global market

From right to left Ritesh Shukla and Mehdi Manaa STANDING H.E the ambassador Sunjay Sudhir and H.E Dr. Abdulrahman Al Hamidy

Mehdi Manaa, CEO of Buna, the cross-border and multi-currency payment system owned by the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), and Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), the international arm of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing the foundation for a partnership between Buna and NIPL, to implement payment solutions that lead to interoperability between their instant payment services and allow their participants to exchange cross-border payments in a cost-effective and secure way, instantly, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

The ceremony was held in the AMF headquarter in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in the presence of H.E Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to the UAE and H.E Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, Director General Chairman of the Board of the Arab Monetary Fund.

The envisioned alliance between Buna and NIPL presents a strategic opportunity for both payment systems to build on the high potential of their instant payment services with the objective of spreading the benefits of cross-border instant payments to citizens and corporates and supporting the growth of trade and investment flows between the Arab world and India.

Commenting on the MoU, His Excellency Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, Director General Chairman of the Board of the Arab Monetary Fund praised the strategic collaboration with the NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), and highlighted the common mission of NIPL and the AMF to drive initiatives that enable financial inclusion and cater to the financial needs of the society, in line with their objectives to support economic growth and create means for citizens prosperity in the Arab world and India.

H.E Dr. Al Hamidy said: “Enhancing cross-border payments is a pillar for the growth of financial and commercial ties between the different parts of the world. By establishing a joint modern solution to streamline the flow of funds between their participants, Buna and NIPL are introducing a safe and efficient payment rail that represents a key driver for the growth and expansion of economic ties and opportunities between the Arab region and India, as well as the different international markets across the globe. This partnership is a milestone in Buna’s plans to promote the usage of its cross-border multi-currency instant payment service and its contribution to the development of the payment industry in the Arab region and at a global level.”

Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NIPL, commented “We believe that this strategic partnership with Arab Monetary Fund is a significant step towards actualizing our vision of taking our exemplary payments solutions to global markets. We are focused on bringing about a superior cross-border experience through our cutting-edge real-time payment solution – UPI. Our partnership with AMF and Buna would further boost the growth of cross-border payments through UPI.”

NPCI’s UPI has become one of the most successful real-time payments (RTP) systems globally, providing simplicity, safety, and security in person-to-person (P2P) and person to merchant (P2M) transactions. In 2021 alone, UPI enabled 39 billion financial transactions amounting to commerce worth USD 940 Billion, which is equivalent to approximately 31% of India’s GDP.

Buna, is a cross-border payment system owned by the Arab Monetary Fund, aiming to enable financial institutions and central banks in the Arab region and beyond to send and receive payments in local currencies as well as key international currencies in a safe, cost-effective, risk-controlled, and transparent environment. Buna offers participants modern payment solutions that comply with international standards, principles, and compliance requirements. Thanks to its cross-border payment system Buna contributes to exploring and strengthening opportunities for economic and financial integration in the Arab region and supporting investment ties with the global trading partners. Buna welcomes the inclusion of all banks that meet the criteria and conditions for participation, primarily the standards and procedures of compliance aspects.