Dubai: Indians living abroad will soon be able to make UPI (Unified Payments Interface) payments through their phone, using a mobile number registered outside India, from April 30, 2023.
This is according to a circular issued by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on January 10, 2023.
UPI is an instant payment system that facilitates different financial transactions like money transfer through banks, sending money to a friend or making payments for purchases at retail outlets.
NPCI, which is the organisation that developed UPI, stated that Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) from 10 countries, including the UAE, with NRE/NRO bank accounts [Non-Resident External account or Non-Resident Ordinary account], that have registered the account using international mobile numbers, will have access to UPI.
Could NRIs make UPI payments before?
According to Dixit Jain, managing director at The Tax Experts DMCC, a Dubai-based tax advisory firm, NRIs could always make UPI payments, as long they had an NRI bank account and an active Indian mobile number. The number was needed to register on UPI-based apps such as Paytm, PhonePe or Google Pay.
“Previously, you could use your NRI bank account and credit card with UPI apps. However, with these new rules from NPCI, NRIs will now be able to use their UAE number [or international number] that is linked with their NRE/NRO to register on any UPI app,” he said.
Jain explained that if your UAE mobile number is not linked to your NRE or NRO bank account, you can update your Know Your Customer (KYC) details with your bank in India.
Previously, you could use your NRI bank account and credit card with UPI apps. However, with these new rules from NPCI, NRIs will now be able to use their UAE number [or international number] that is linked with their NRE/NRO to register on any UPI app.
– Dixit Jain, managing director at The Tax Experts DMCC, a Dubai-based tax advisory firm
Are all NRIs eligible to access UPI?
According to the circular issued by NPCI, NRIs from the following countries will be allowed to use their local numbers to make UPI payments:
4. Hong Kong
9. United Arab Emirates
10. United Kingdom
Easier for NRIs to pay bills in India
As reported by Gulf News earlier, while earlier an NRI would need to transfer money to their Indian bank account in order to pay for utility or mobile phone bills, once the new system is in place, they will be able to make direct bill payments, through a UPI-enabled portal like Bharat Bill Pay System (BBPS), according to Jain. BBPS is a payment portal of NPCI, which allows NRIs to pay bills directly from wherever they are overseas. To learn more about BBPS, and how it benefits NRIs who have to pay bills back home, click here.
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