UPI goes global

UPI goes global

Unified Payments Interface, commonly known as UPI, has been a game changer for digital payments in India. From getting groceries to buying your favorite gadget, one can quickly make a UPI payment with no additional charges. UPI is no longer limited to India and the number of countries accepting it keeps growing. What is UPI and how it works?

· UPI is a mobile-first payment system developed in India by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It makes it easy to send and receive by just scanning a QR code or using a user’s phone number. Unlike most digital payment systems, the amount gets directly debited to the linked bank account.

· UPI can be used on BHIM, a first-party app. It can also be accessed via third-party platforms such as Google Pay, Amazon Pay, PhonePe, BharatPe, and a lot more. Most banks that officially operate in India support UPI payment, and unlike a credit or debit card payment, there is no charge involved in UPI payment.

· To prevent fraudulent activities, NPCI has thought of various features like- how the account is directly linked to the phone number. If the SIM card is removed, UPI ceases to work, and at times, one might also face downtime due to service issues. To solve that, NCIP came up with UPI Lite, which does not require a PIN or internet to make transactions. However, there is a limit of Rs 500 per transaction and Rs 4,000 limit per day.

· Here is the list of countries that officially support UPI payment:

    1. Sri Lanka
    2. Mauritius
    3. France
    4. UAE
    5. Singapore
    6. Bhutan
    7. Nepal

· Bhutan was one of the first countries to adopt UPI payments outside India back in 2021 in collaboration with the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) of Bhutan. Besides, Bhutan is also one of the first countries to adopt and issue RuPay bank cards.

· France is one of the first countries in the Europian region to access UPI payments, that too at the iconic Eiffel Tower in collaboration with Lyra. The govt of France has confirmed that more merchants across France and Europe will soon start accepting UPI payments, which will be a big development, especially for Indian travellers.

· UAE being the third-largest trade partner of India, recently announced a partnership with the govt of India regarding the adoption of UPI payments in the country just a few days ago in collaboration with Mashreq, a major bank in UAE.

· Srilanka and Mauritius are the latest islands to adopt India’s UPI payment system on February 12, helping Indian tourists to send and recieve money in these countries.

· Right now, UPI is available in seven countries, and the list is growing almost every month.

How to use UPI outside of India?

· To make UPI payments outside India, one needs to enable international payments on the respective apps. For example, if you are using UPI via the PhonePe app, the same has to be enabled on the platform from the settings menu. Once enabled, one will be able to make UPI payments with ease in international locations.

· However, if you are travelling outside India, we don’t recommend just depending on the UPI payment, as only select locations and merchants can receive UPI payment at the moment. As these are international transactions, and you will be paying using Indian rupees, there could be a small fee that your bank might charge you to process the transaction.

How to enable UPI international payment

· To enable UPI international payment on PhonePe, click on your profile picture in the top left corner, go to “payment management,” and select “international.” In the next menu, click on the bank that you would like to activate international UPI payment, and enter your UPI PIN to authenticate. Once enabled, the international UPI payment method will be active for six months, and one has to reactivate the same post that period.

· To deactivate international payment, go to the same menu, click disable and enter your UPI pin to authenticate.

· On top of that, RuPay credit/debit cards also won’t work outside India, and you need needs cards from either Visa or Master.

· Also note that, depending on the country, there will be a certain limit on how much you can spend per day, and making UPI payments will also need an active internet connection.

· Right now, only a select number of banks support UPI international payments and here is a complete list of banks that support UPI payments as per the PhonePe database.

  • Bank of Baroda
  • Bank of India
  • Bank of Maharashtra
  • Canara Bank
  • Central Bank of India
  • City Union Bank Limited
  • ESAF Small Finance Bank Limited
  • The Federal Bank Limited
  • Indian Bank
  • IndusInd Bank Limited
  • Karur Vysya Bank Limited
  • Punjab & Sind Bank
  • Punjab National Bank
  • South Indian Bank Limited
  • The Cosmos Bank
  • Union Bank of India

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