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Foreigners, NRIs travelling to India can use UPI for payments

RBI enables UPI access for foreign nationals and NRIs in India to promote cashless payments, with provisions for G-20 travelers and NRI mobile numbers linked to NRE/NRO accounts.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that foreign nationals and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) visiting India can access digital transactions by using Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Union Minister for State for Finance, Dr Bhagwat Kisanrao Karad, made the announcement, aiming to promote cashless payments and enhance the ease of financial transactions. The announcement came in the form of a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on July 31. 

To enable the growth of India's digital payment ecosystem and enhance the experience of travelers and NRIs during their stay in the country, a circular dated February 10, 2023, issued by the Reserve Bank of India enabled foreign nationals and NRIs to use UPI. 

In addition to this, RBI has also implemented the provision to grant UPI access to travelers from G-20 countries at select international airports, including Bengaluru, Mumbai, and New Delhi, specifically for merchant payments.

Furthermore, the RBI has also made provisions to provide UPI access to NRIs who have international mobile numbers linked to their NRE (Non-Residential External) and NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) accounts. 

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has further informed that the UPI facility for foreign nationals and NRIs is currently available for travellers from ten countries. These countries include Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and the United Kingdom.

The UPI transaction numbers have soared from 3746.3 million users in 2018 to 7403.9 million in 2022. 

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