PhonePe, Indian digital payments and financial technology company, has launched support for cross-border UPI payments, under UPI International. The apps' users can now use their Indian bank accounts to pay at merchant outlets in the UAE, Singapore, Mauritius, Nepal and Bhutan, The Bhutan Live reported.
Earlier, Indian users had to use either foreign currency in cash or via a forex card.
With this, the digital payment platform has become the first in its category to integrate UPI International.
According to PhonePe, users would now be able to make payments in foreign currencies directly from their bank accounts, similar to international debit cards.
UPI International, introduced by the cross-border arm of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI International Payments Limited), facilitates UPI transactions for the Indian diaspora abroad.
NPCI plans to roll out UPI International to more countries over 2023.
Rahul Chari, CTO and co-founder of PhonePe, as quoted by The Bhutan Live, said, "UPI International is the first major step in letting the rest of the world experience UPI too. I am sure this launch will prove to be a game-changer and will completely transform the way Indians travelling overseas pay at merchant outlets abroad."
As per NPCI figures from December 2022, PhonePe processed 367.42 crore transactions worth Rs. 6.39 lakh crore. The figures accounted for 47 percent of all UPI transactions and 50 per cent of the total transaction value in December 2022, according to The Bhutan Live.
The recent developments come as there is growing international interest in the government's payments network. According to Union Minister for Electronics and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw, India is already in talks with around 30 countries for UPI.
Taking into account the popularity of the UPI payment system, the Reserve Bank of India recently said that it has proposed to permit all inbound travellers to India to use UPI for their merchant payments while they are in the country.
The RBI governor Shaktikanta Das made the announcement while deliberating upon the outcome of the just-held three-day monetary policy committee meeting.
"To begin with, this facility will be extended to travellers from G-20 countries arriving at select international airports," Das said.
UPI payments system has become hugely popular for retail digital payments in India, and its adoption is increasing at a rapid pace.
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