Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) residing in 10 countries will soon be able to make transactions through UPI, or Unified Payments Interface, with their international phone numbers.
NRIs living in which countries can avail the service? The 10 countries where NRIs can avail of UPI services are Canada, the United States, Australia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Oman, and Qatar.
What is the eligibility criteria issued by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)? The NPCI has issued certain guidelines for the use of UPI services for NRIs.
NRIs who possess Non-Resident External (NRE) or Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) accounts will be permitted to avail UPI services through their international mobile numbers. Currently, NRIs can set up a UPI ID only through an Indian phone number.
The order also asks member banks to ensure that accounts are permitted "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."
It also states that all the "necessary Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/ Combating of Financing of Terrorism (CT) checks and compliance validation/account level validations as per the extent rules applicable under the regulatory guidelines shall be the responsibility of the remitter/beneficiary banks."
The banks will be given time till 30 April to comply with the new guidelines, the order adds.
What are the advantages of the NPCI's move? The NPCI's decision is set to help students, NRI families and local businesses operating abroad.
Currently, when a user activates UPI from Paytm, GooglePay etc., the app sends them a message confirming that their number has been linked to the bank.
However, people who move abroad have to keep their India-based numbers active to access UPI, which may be extremely expensive due to the costs of international roaming.
The NPCI's latest decision would help NRIs reduce the costs that they incur, as they will no longer have to rely on their India-based phone numbers to avail the service.
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)