India, on Tuesday, signed a MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Saudi Arabia to launch the Rupay card in the nation, making it the third country in West Asia to initiate India’s digital payment system, after UAE and Bahrain, which would benefit not only the 2.6 million Indians in the Gulf but also Haj and Umrah pilgrims.

The RuPay card is one of its kind Indian domestic Debit Card and Credit Card payment network, with acceptance across ATMs, POS devices and e-commerce websites that was launched in 2012 to fulfill RBI’s vision to have a domestic, open and multilateral payment system. The RuPay card has marked its presence in Singapore and Bhutan as well.

According to reports, more than 2.6 million Indians are working in Saudi Arabia. Nearly 2 lakh Haj pilgrims and more than 300,000 Umrah pilgrims from India visit Saudi Arabia every year. With the acceptance of the RuPay card, people will be able to make transactions at cheaper rates.

RuPay has also partnered with international players like Japan Credit Bureau, Discover, and China Union Pay to enhance its worldwide acceptance and achieved a milestone of issuing 25 million RuPay cards recently. Rupay is India’s version of Master Card and Visa and is a highly secure network that protects against cyber hacks. Currently, there are nearly 500 million RuPay cards in circulation in India.

India’s relations with Saudi have been improving over the last couple of years based on burgeoning energy ties besides cooperation in various other areas.

PM Modi urged investors to back up the Indian startup economy, promising the best possible capital returns on their investment.

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