The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that it will extend permission to all inbound travellers from G20 countries to use Unified Payments Interface (UPI) service while they are in India.
This is a major development that will make the payments process easier and more convenient for tourists visiting the country, while also making India a more attractive destination for international travellers.
The RBI governor Shaktikanta Das announced this decision on Wednesday, following the three-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting. The move comes after the RBI recently hiked the repo rate by 25 bps to 6.50 percent. The governor said that the facility will be enabled across all entry points in the country, starting at select international airports.
“Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has become a ubiquitous payment instrument for retail electronic payments in India. An enhancement has recently been made to provide UPI access to non-resident Indians who have international mobile numbers linked to their NRE / NRO accounts. It is now proposed to permit all inbound travellers to India also to access UPI for their merchant payments (P2M) while they are in the country,” RBI said in a statement.
“To start with, this facility will be extended to travellers from the G-20 countries, arriving at select international airports. Going forward, this facility will be enabled across all other entry points in the country. Necessary operational instructions will be issued shortly,” it added.
The UPI medium of payment has become immensely popular since the pandemic began, with transaction values rising from ₹12.82 lakh crore in December 2022 to ₹12.98 lakh crore in January 2023, according to data from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). In addition, the number of banks live on the UPI platform increased from 382 to 385 during the same period.
Speaking on the same, Mr. Dilip Modi, Founder, Spice Money said, “We welcome the move by the Indian government that travelers from G20 countries will soon be able to use UPI (Unified Payments Interface) in India. This will allow users to make payments to merchants, transfer money and make other transactions in India. This is an outstanding move by the Government to highlight the country’s digital growth.”
“UPI has been a game changer for India and this will only highlight to the world that India is leading the way in terms of technology developments. UPI has become ubiquitous in the country due to its simple, fast, secure and convenient method of transacting. It is a supporting statement to the 2023 Union Budget that highlighted the wider acceptance of digital payments with the remarkable performance of UPI clocking 7400 crores worth ₹126 lakh crore in 2022,” he added.
UPI (Unified Payments Interface) is an instant payment system formulated by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It allows customers to securely transfer money between any two bank accounts using a single identifier such as a mobile number, virtual payment address (VPA), Aadhaar number or account number with IFSC.
UPI payments are fast, secure and convenient for customers and merchants alike. It has revolutionized the way we make payments in India, providing a seamless, safe and affordable alternative to cash payments.
The RBI’s move to allow international travellers access to UPI payments will be a welcome relief for tourists, as it eliminates the need to carry large amounts of cash or use an international debit card. This will also provide a much-needed boost to the tourism industry in India, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.