The Maldives is set to launch India’s RuPay service in the country, a significant development for the Maldives’s financial sector.

More on the news:

  • The RuPay service is expected to strengthen the Maldivian rufiyaa (MVR).
  • Addressing the dollar issue and reinforcing the MVR is a top priority for the current Maldivian administration.
  • The card will be formally used for transactions in rupees within Maldivian territory.
  • Discussions with India are ongoing to explore payment facilitation in local currencies also.

About RuPay: 

  • RuPay is India’s first and global card payment network, developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). 
  • Launched in 2012, it’s a domestic alternative to international payment networks like Visa and Mastercard. 
  • RuPay cards are widely accepted across India at ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) terminals and online merchants.
  • RuPay offers various card options, including debit cards, credit cards, and prepaid cards.


  • Lower Transaction Fees: RuPay transactions typically involve lower fees compared to international networks, potentially benefiting both merchants and consumers.
  • Enhanced Security: RuPay cards incorporate advanced security features to protect against fraud.
  • Rewards and Cashback Programs: Many RuPay cards offer reward programs and cashback benefits.

The downward turn in India-Maldives ties:

  • During the official visit of then-President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to India in August 2022, both nations welcomed efforts to operationalize RuPay in the Maldives.
  • Relations have soured since the pro-China President Mohamed Muizzu took office in November 2023.
  • The recent repatriation of over 80 Indian military personnel from the Maldives has strained ties further.

International Usage of RuPay Service:

  • Multiple international banks and payment companies abroad have partnered with NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL) to accept UPI and RuPay. Some of the following are: 
  • Singapore: Launched in 2018, RuPay cards can be used at NETS terminals across Singapore, allowing Indian visitors to make payments conveniently.
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE): Launched in 2017, RuPay cards can be used at certain point-of-sale terminals within the UAE.
  • Bhutan: Bhutan became one of the first countries to adopt RuPay in 2020, enabling cross-border transactions between India and Bhutan.
  • Nepal: Following Bhutan, Nepal launched RuPay services in 2022, facilitating easier transactions for travelers and businesses between the two countries.
  • Mauritius: More recently, Mauritius has rolled out RuPay acceptance, catering to the Indian tourist population and business ties. 

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