PhonePe, India’s leading digital payments and financial technology company, has launched support for cross-border UPI payments through UPI International. With this integration, users of the app in India can now make payments at merchant outlets in countries such as the UAE, Singapore, Mauritius, Nepal and Bhutan using their Indian bank accounts.
Earlier, Indian users had to rely on foreign currency in cash or a forex card for overseas payments. Now, with UPI International, Indian users can make payments in foreign currencies directly from their bank accounts, similar to international debit cards.
UPI International was introduced by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to facilitate UPI transactions for the Indian diaspora abroad. NPCI plans to roll out UPI International to more countries in 2023.
PhonePe had processed 367.42 crore transactions worth INR 6.39 lakh crore in December 2022, accounting for 47% of all UPI transactions and 50% of the total transaction value. The popularity of the UPI payment system has led the Reserve Bank of India to propose permitting all inbound travellers to India to use UPI for merchant payments while in the country. Initially, this facility will be extended to travellers from G-20 countries arriving at select international airports.
The integration of UPI International by PhonePe is a major step in allowing the rest of the world to experience UPI and is likely to transform the way Indians traveling abroad make payments at merchant outlets. With growing international interest in India’s payments network and discussions with around 30 countries for UPI, the future of digital payments in India looks promising.