Indians living in ten countries can now make payments through UPI

Remittances sent by non-resident Indians back home reached about $100 billion in 2022
Indians living in ten countries can now make payments through UPI
Photo: Jonathan Ernst (Reuters)
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Sending money back home or making merchant payments has now become hassle-free for a whole lot of Indians living abroad.

India’s National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has extended access to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to non-resident Indians, a press release said yesterday (Jan. 10). The homegrown digital payments facility will be available to accounts using international mobile phone numbers from 10 select countries.

“We have been receiving requirement from the (UPI) ecosystem with regards to the non-resident accounts and other permissible accounts having international numbers to be allowed to transact in UPI,” the NPCI statement said.

“And there has been customer demand in the ecosystem to enable UPI...and experience the seamless and instant journey of UPI.

All 382 member banks of NPCI have now been asked to ensure that all non-resident account types are onboarded by April 30, the press statement said.

At 32 million (pdf), Indians living abroad comprise the world’s largest overseas diaspora. Remittances made by this section amounted to around $100 billion in 2022, up 12% from the previous year, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said yesterday.

The UPI system, launched in 2016, gained massive popularity in India during the covid-19 pandemic. In 2022, up to 74 billion transactions amounting to $1.53 trillion were recorded on NPCI.

Countries like Nepal, Bhutan, and Singapore, too, have signed deals with NPCI to integrate their payment networks with UPI, enabling seamless cross-border payments.