The NPCI has permitted non-residents from 10 countries, including the US, Canada and UAE, to digitally transfer funds using the UPI platform from NRE/NRO accounts.
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in a circular said it has been receiving requests for allowing non-residents to use international mobile numbers for transacting in Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
Accordingly, the NPCI in a circular dated January 10 has asked the UPI participants to put in place a mechanism by April 30 under which non-residents having NRE/NRO accounts will be allowed to transfer funds using their international mobile numbers.
To start with, this facility will be available to non-residents in 10 countries -- Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the United Kingdom.
While NRIs and PIOs can open Non-Resident (External) Rupee (NRE) bank accounts, Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) accounts can be opened by any person residing outside India for bonafide transactions in the rupee.
The NPCI, which operates the UPI platform, said, "To begin with, we shall be enabling transaction from mobile numbers having the country code of (10 nations)... and shall extend for other country codes in near future...".
Payments Council of India Chairman Vishwas Patel said the major convenience factor would be in the form of 'payment/money transfer convenience' for NRIs when they visit India.
Sarvatra Technologies Founder MD Mandar Agashe said all these years, NRIs couldn’t access the UPI network since SIM binding, which is an important security feature of UPI, was available only to Indian SIM card phones.
"NRIs will just need to link their NRE and NRO accounts linked to their international SIM to UPI and use it like any other Indian UPI user for merchant payment as well as peer-to-peer payments," Agashe said.