Indian Merchants Can Now Accept UPI Payments from NRIs, says NPCI

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the retail payments umbrella body, said that Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) can now make use of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in 10 selected countries.

The 10 countries are as follows:

  • UAE
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Singapore
  • Hongkong
  • Saudi Arabia

NRIs who live in the above mentioned countries can use UPI to send and receive money from their international mobile numbers. The only caveat is that their international mobile number must be linked to their domestic bank account (NRE bank account), which should be active.

NPCI has given the member banks time till April 30 to follow the directives and prepare their systems to enable UPI transactions from NRIs international numbers.

This move by NPCI will push the usage of UPI, which is already the primary mode of digital payments in India. Total monthly transactions on UPI registered a new record when it reached the 782 crore mark in December 2022 – highest ever monthly transaction in UPI’s history.

What does this mean for merchants?

As of now, NRIs use their international debit and credit cards to pay or shop locally when they come to India. Post April 30, 2023, NRIs will no longer have to use their international cards to shop when they are in India. They can simply scan a QR code or use their UPI ID to pay for their purchases in India.

“It is a far-sighted move, a move that would really benefit the NRIs. The major convenience factor would be in the form of payments for NRIs when they visit India and pay easily across millions of Indian merchants accepting UPI,” said Vishwas Patel, chairman, Payments Council of India.

This move by NPCI is immensely going to benefit merchants who ship products internationally as now NRIs will be able to shop from overseas countries with ease and convenience.

“This allows the diaspora to use it not just when they come to India but also when they are abroad. They can make instant transfers and use it on e-commerce portals,” said Dilip Asbe, chief executive, NPCI.

Asbe said that based on the response and demand, NPCI will also look at adding more countries to the list.

NPCI said that it has been “receiving requirements from the ecosystem with regards to the non-resident accounts and other permissible accounts having international numbers to be allowed to transact in UPI.”

How can merchants make use of this announcement?

It is a ripe time for merchants who have not been accepting UPI payments to start doing so. The list of benefits of accepting payments through UPI is pretty long. Here are a few benefits merchants will have once they start accepting UPI payments:

  • 0% MDR: Merchants must ensure they partner with a payment gateway that promises zero transaction fees on UPI payments.
  • Easy integration: Integrating with the UPI payments system is simple and quick. Merchants only need to link their bank account with UPI.
  • Real-time money transfer: With UPI payments, merchants will be able to receive payments in real-time without having to wait for any reconciliation process.
  • Secure payment: UPI is a fully secure payment system created by NPCI and RBI. It is secured by two-factor authentication while providing the ease of payments.
  • Lower cart abandonment rate: Since more and more customers prefer UPI to pay for their purchases, if they don’t see UPI as an option they might abandon their cart and leave your website. If you allow them to pay via UPI along with other payment methods, there are less chances of them leaving your website without paying.


NPCI is on a roll to make UPI a truly global product. Recently, it was announced that Singapore’s PayNow will soon be linked with UPI. This will allow one to instantly transfer funds between these two countries. It is expected that this will bring down remittance cost by 10%.


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