Receiving money from relatives used to be complicated with demand drafts or money orders, before things progressed to online transfers. Last year, remittances from expats surged by 12 per cent from the previous year, to reach almost $100 billion. Now more money may flow in from Indians earning abroad, as Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transfers that we use to make payments with a few clicks, will be available for NRIs as well.
NRIs from 10 countries to enjoy access
Mobile numbers with country codes of Australia, Canada, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UK, Hong Kong, USA and Singapore, have now been cleared by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for UPI registrations. The news comes days after India’s UPI was integrated with its counterpart in Singapore called PayNow, to boost cross border transactions. It will enable NRIs in 10 countries with a large number of Indian workers, to use UPI like any other Indian citizen.
Eligibility criteria for the service
The service will be available to NRIs who have Non-Resident External (NRE) and Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) accounts in India. The NRE accounts are created to transfer and manage foreign earnings, while the NRO accounts are meant for the income they generate within India. The account holders and banks will have to ensure compliance with money laundering norms as well as laws against terror-financing.
The ability to transfer funds from abroad as quickly as making a payment via Paytm or PhonePe, will significantly drive up the frequency of money sent to India and the volume of cash flowing in as well.