Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched RuPay card scheme in the neighbouring country Bhutan.

The Indian leader launched the card scheme during an official visit to the Himalayan nation.

Conceived by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), RuPay is the first-of-its-kind payment network of India.

According to the Economic Times, Bhutan is the second country after Singapore where RuPay Card has been launched.

Before the official visit by the Prime Minister, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale in a press conference said that the launch will be in two phases.

“In the first phase Indian banks will issue RuPay cards which can be used by Indian travellers in Bhutan. The next phase will be where the banks of Bhutan will be empowered to issue RuPay cards to Bhutanese citizens to use in India,” Economic Times quoted him as saying.

The launch of RuPay card in Bhutan is aimed at encouraging digital payments in the country. It is also expected to support trade and tourism between the two countries.

RuPay cards offer wide acceptance at ATMs, POS devices and e-commerce websites. It has ten core promoter banks which include State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Citibank and HSBC among others.

Recently, NPCI partnered with Japan’s JCB International to launch a co-branded international card. The new offering is dubbed RuPay JCB Global Cards.