NPCI will first enable UPI for mobile numbers from Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, the US, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the UK
The government has been promoting UPI at an international scale, with as many as 30 countries from across the world in talks with India
UPI transactions amounted to INR 125.95 Lakh Cr in 2022, up 1.75X YoY
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has instructed members of the United Payments Interface (UPI) to allow non-resident account types such as non-resident external (NRE) and non-resident ordinary (NRO) accounts with international mobile numbers to use UPI.
To start with, the NPCI will enable UPI transactions for NRE/NRO accounts with mobile numbers from Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, the US, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the United Kingdom.
All the aforementioned countries have a significant Indian diaspora, particularly those in the Middle East, the US, Canada, and the UK.
However, members of the UPI ecosystem will have to ensure that such accounts will only be allowed on the framework as per extant Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regulations. The accounts will also have to adhere to the guidelines issued by the concerned regulatory departments of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Further, all necessary anti-money laundering and combating of financing of terrorism checks and compliance validation as per the rules have to be ensured by the remitter and beneficiary banks. The NPCI has set an initial deadline of April 30, 2023, for the members of the UPI ecosystem to comply with the NRE/NRO accounts directions.
The development comes as the government has been promoting UPI at an international scale, with as many as 30 countries from across the world in talks with India for potentially deploying the payments framework in their countries, according to Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.
To take UPI to the world, the NPCI has established a subsidiary NPCI International to undertake and coordinate with international players.
UPI’s international journey started when Nepal became the first country in the world, apart from India, to adopt UPI in February 2022. Since then, UPI has been deployed in several Middle Eastern countries as well to cater to the massive Indian diaspora living and working there.
Meanwhile, UPI’s integration with its Singaporean counterpart PayNow is also set to go live soon.
UPI transactions amounted to INR 125.95 Lakh Cr in 2022, up 1.75X year-on-year (YoY). To further promote the payments framework across the country, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday announced an INR 2,600 Cr scheme. It will promote the usage of RuPay debit cards and low-value UPI transactions.