Unified Payment Interface (UPI), an instant financial transaction system facilitated through mobile devices, including UPI payments, has transformed how Indians manage their finances. Initially intended for domestic transactions, UPI is now available in foreign countries for Indians and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to execute international transactions using UPI payments.
The National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI) is the apex body that handles UPI-related operations in India, and NIPL handles its international UPI operations.
NIPL has managed and established ties with various foreign governments to accept UPI as a payment mode in their countries. Although primarily launched for domestic transactions, UPI has extended its scope to encompass international transactions for Indian nationals and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).
What is UPI
UPI stands for Unified Payments Interface. It is a real-time payment mechanism that allows users to instantly transfer funds between two bank accounts using their mobile phones. In simple terms, UPI acts as a mediator between two banks, allowing multiple bank accounts connected to a single domain, and users can transfer money from one account to another.
How Can One Use UPI Payments Outside India
The Indian user needs to have a bank account linked to a UPI-enabled mobile app (such as PhonePe, GooglePay, Paytm, CRED, BHIM, Amazon Pay, Mobikwik, Freecharge, etc.). The app could be provided by their respective bank or a third-party UPI app. Users start by registering their mobile numbers, which should be linked to their bank account for authentication. After that, they create their UPI ID and finally set a PIN to protect their account and authenticate when required. In UPI-enabled countries, NRIs can use UPI with their international mobile numbers.
When users provide their bank account details, UPI verifies and authenticates their identity. UPI verifies the bank account name, account number, IFSC code, and other necessary information, ensuring secure access to UPI as it is a fully government body that doesn’t share crucial data with anyone.
How To Make an International UPI transaction
Users can use the official BHIM app or any other third-party app to make transactions abroad.
To transfer money to someone’s account, ask for the following details:
- Recipient’s Bank Account Number
- International Bank Account Number (IBAN)
- Bank Identifier Code (BIC) or any other necessary details for the destination country.
- Next, specify the transfer amount and select the currency. That’s it!
- After completing all the required steps, transaction details are transferred to the receiver’s bank, and they verify the details and initiate the transaction to the receiver’s bank; this process may take several minutes. To provide tangible proof of a successful transaction, UPI offers a receipt system.
- Availability and functionality of international UPI may vary from country to country and bank to bank. For more convenience, you can check YouTube videos or read community posts for more help.
- As you are using UPI outside India, you may face issues related to UPI. In that case, you can refer to various troubleshooting guidelines on UPI not working from Indian Tech Hunter.
What are the Conversion Rates
UPI uses prevailing exchange rates to convert the amount. The amount is converted from the user’s account currency to the destination currency. Sometimes, UPI will use conversion rates provided by reliable financial institutions or use a fixed rate set by the user’s bank. Don’t worry; the charge amount is usually informed before completing the transaction.
What are the Charges for International UPI payments
When utilizing UPI for international fund transfers, it is crucial to remain informed about potential additional fees that may apply. Fees applied are relatively lower compared to debit or credit card transactions, so there’s no need to worry about that.
These charges often include currency conversion costs, foreign exchange fees, and fees levied by intermediary banks involved in the transfer process. Being aware of these potential fees beforehand will allow you to make informed decisions and avoid any surprises during the transaction process.
The future of UPI appears promising, given its rapid expansion in India and increasing reliance among consumers for its convenience.
Additionally, once UPI’s popularity is established in a specific region, Indian customers can easily use their RuPay debit or credit cards for payments, which may ultimately encourage Indian customers to make more purchases due to the added convenience.