NRIs can now set up UPI on their international mobile numbers: List of supported countries – The Indian Express

Non-Resident Indians (NRI) will now be able to access the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) on their international mobile numbers as well. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has issued new guidelines allowing NRIs in ten countries to access UPI services using their international mobile numbers for banks accounts which are classified as Non Resident External (NRE) or Non Resident Ordinary (NRO) accounts.
According to the guidelines, NRIs in these countries will now have the option of activating a UPI account with the mobile number they use in the particular country with an international country code. Keep in mind that setting up a UPI ID for any app requires a valid India mobile phone number.
When a user activates UPI from an app say Google Pay or Paytm, the app then sends an SMS from the number confirming that this mobile number is linked to the bank. So for those who move abroad, accessing UPI means they have to keep their India numbers activated, which can come with hefty costs given the prices of international roaming.
Now, these users will be able to access UPI without relying on their India mobile phone number. According to NPCI’s order, member banks will need to ensure the UPI account is only allowed as “per the extant FEMA regulations and adherence to the guidelines/instructions issued by the concerned regulatory departments of Reserve Bank of India from time to time.” Further, all the “necessary Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/ Combating of Financing of Terrorism (CT) checks and compliance validation/account level validations as per the extent” need to be applicable to these bank accounts.
NPCI has said it will be begin enabling the transaction from mobile numbers having the country code of below mentioned countries along with current domestic country code. It plans to extend the UPI facility for other country codes in near future. The list of countries supported is
Hong Kong
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Keep in mind that a user will need an NRE or NRO account in order to access UPI from their international mobile number.
NPCI’s move is being hailed by the industry as well. “It is a far-sighted move, a move that would really benefit the NRIs. The major convenience factor would be in the form of ‘payment/money transfer convenience’ for NRIs when they visit India and can pay easily across millions of indian merchants accepting UPI, thus, now they can do away with the use of their expensive international cards. I believe in the long run our NRIs will play a vital role in increasing the adaption & popularity of Indian payment technology – UPI, in foreign soil and truly make UPI a global payment & money transfer network,” Vishwas Patel, Chairman, Payments Council of India and Executive Director, Infibeam Avenues Ltd said on the announcement.
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