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How Indians Can Make UPI Payments Abroad?

For any Indian travelling to any part of the world, shopping is a must, and using other payment modes can sometimes be a headache. But now, for Indians, it is easy to enjoy the benefits of UPI (Unified Payments Interface) outside India.

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has emerged as a prominent payment system in India, with no charges or minimal charges in some conditions, making it affordable and convenient for various users to transfer money, pay bills, and conduct various financial transactions via mobile devices. 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 & how it works?

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

Mobile Number:

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.

Bank Account:

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:

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.

Important notes:

  • 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.

Final Words

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.

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Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 18 September, 2023, 17:08Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Your post starts with the use case of "shopping outside India" (P2M) and ends with steps for what seems to be the use case of "payor (inside or outside India) make a payment to a payee (outside India)" (P2P).

Any idea what are the steps for using UPI for P2M outside India?

If you're suggesting that they're the same as those for P2P, then this feature will be dead on arrival - I seriously doubt if any merchant will readily know their IBAN number etc. at checkout. 

Naina Rajgopalan

Naina Rajgopalan

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