NRE/NRO account holders with international mobile numbers will soon be able to use UPI payment services
UPI (Unified Payment Interface) services like Google Pay, Phone Pay, Paytm and BHIM app are very popular among Indians. With the widespread use of UPI services, people’s dependence on cash and banks has reduced significantly. Even sellers in rural areas accept payments over the phone for small sales.
However, expatriates with foreign numbers could not enjoy the benefits of the UPA system. A solution to this has been announced by NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
NRE/NRO account holders with international mobile numbers will soon be able to use UPI payment services. For this, expats can link the foreign mobile phone number or the mobile phone number commonly used in their country of residence to the account.
When will the service be available?
Currently, non-residents can use the UPI app to make payments. For this, the Indian mobile number needs to be kept active as it is a SIM linked payment process. This is about to change.
UPI service on international numbers is expected to be available to NRE / NRO account holders by April 30. With this, Indians abroad can experience a seamless payment system with real-time transactions.
How does it work? What are the terms?
UPI ecosystem member banks can offer UPI services to non-resident accounts such as NRE/NRO accounts with international mobile numbers subject to the following conditions.
First, the user must link the mobile number of his current country with the NRO (Non-Ordinarily Resident) or NRE (Non-Resident External) account.
Member Banks are required to ensure that such accounts are in accordance with the existing FEMA regulations and comply with the guidelines issued by the relevant regulatory departments of RBI from time to time. The customer should ensure that the KYC in accordance with rules including the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) is submitted to the member bank with which the account is linked.
Banks should carry out checks on money laundering and terrorist financing. Payer/beneficiary banks will be responsible for verifying compliance/account level verifications as per relevant threshold rules under regulatory guidelines.
All shipment/transaction level checks as per existing UPI guidelines will be applicable to such accounts.
In which countries will the service be available?
Initially, the UPI facility will be available to NRE/NRO account holders with international mobile numbers in the following 10 countries. Those countries are:
Hong Kong: +852
Saudi Arabia: +966
United Arab Emirates: +971
This facility may be extended to other countries in the future.