BHIM-UPI in Bhutan

News: The Union Minister of Finance of India along with her counterpart, the Finance Minister of Bhutan has jointly launched Bharat Interface for Money – Unified Payments Interface (BHIM-UPI) in Bhutan.


  • The payment system was launched by NPCI International Payments Ltd. (NIPL), the international arm of National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), in partnership with the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) of Bhutan.
  • Bhutan is the first country to adopt UPI standards for its Quick Response (QR) code, and the first country in our immediate neighbourhood to accept mobile based payments through the BHIM App.
  • It is also the second country after Singapore to have BHIM-UPI acceptance at merchant locations.
  • Bhutan will also become the only country to both issue and accept RuPay cards as well as accept BHIM-UPI.


  • Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is India’s digital payment application (app) that works through UPI, a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application.
  • The BHIM app has three levels of authentication:
    • For one, the app binds with a device’s ID and mobile number.
    • Second, a user needs to sync whichever bank account (UPI or non-UPI enabled) in order to conduct the transaction.
    • Third, when a user sets up the app they are asked to create a pin which is needed to log into the app. The UPI pin, which a user creates with their bank account is needed to go through with the transaction.


  • The simple, safe, cost-effective mobile-based payments system has become one of the most prominent forms of digital payments. The payment infrastructures of the two countries are seamlessly connected and will benefit a large number of tourists and businessmen from India who travel to Bhutan each year.
  • This will enhance the ease of living and ease of travelling through cashless transactions at the touch of a button. In 2020, UPI enabled commerce worth USD 457 billion, which is equivalent to approximately 15% of India’s GDP.

What is UPI?

  • Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is an instant real-time payment system developed by NPCI facilitating inter-bank transactions. The interface is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India and works by instantly transferring funds between two bank accounts on a mobile platform.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

  • NPCI, an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India, is an initiative of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007. It is a “Not for Profit” Company under the provisions of Section 25 of Companies Act 1956 (now Section 8 of Companies Act 2013), with an intention to provide infrastructure to the entire Banking system in India for physical as well as electronic payment and settlement systems.