In a welcome move, non-residents from 10 countries will be able to transact using the UPI (Unified Payments Interface) system, which has taken much of the country by storm. Prevented earlier from using their overseas phone numbers to transact, now non-resident Indians from Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, USA, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom can pay for items using their non-resident external or ordinary accounts (NRE and NRO accounts. An NRE account helps NRIs transfer foreign earnings to India, while an NRO account helps them manage the income earned in India.) Experts have welcomed this development lauding the simplicity of the new arrangements saying that 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.
If you’ve just returned from your India holiday, you may have experienced the inconvenience of having to use cash out at the shops. (Or become the butt of jokes as retailers stared at you for being ‘outdated’).
Peak NRI season here in #Pune (and in many cities around India).
How do you spot NRIs at a Mall Food Court? 😉
No… not the usual differences in clothing, etc…. Notice how they are the only ones paying with cash 🙂
— Amit Paranjape (@aparanjape) December 29, 2022
This inconvenience will now be a thing of the past.
UPI, a six-year-old payments network built by a coalition of banks, has become the most popular way Indians transact online today. The payments service fetches money directly from banks, removing the reliance on any intermediary. With its low cost of transaction, UPI payments such as PayTM are used by everyday vendors from juice sellers on the roadside to Uber drivers.
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) have however cautioned member banks to ensure such types of accounts are only allowed as per the extant FEMA regulations and adherence to the guidelines issued by the concerned regulatory departments of Reserve Bank of India.
Member banks also need to guarantee all the necessary Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/ Combating of Financing of Terrorism (CFT) checks and compliance validation/account level validations are met.
This new move has been welcomed by NRIs as it eases the burden of carrying cash during their visits to India.