List of Countries Accepting UPI International Payments

India’s homegrown Unified Payments Interface, or UPI has now gone international. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has partnered with seven countries around the world, allowing Indians to seamlessly send and receive money in foreign currencies using UPI. It also allows tourists to make merchant payments while visiting other countries, directly from their Indian bank account. Let’s have a look at the list of countries that currently support international UPI payments.

Countries That Accept International UPI Payments

NPCI and RBI have been trying to expand UPI globally for the last three years. The Government of India has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with multiple countries across the world to explore money transfer partnerships with UPI. Currently, UPI is available in seven countries, which include:

Bhutan

Bhutan was among the first nations to accept India’s UPI payment services. UPI’s integration with Bhutan started on July 13, 2021. Since then, Indians visiting Bhutan can make merchant payments by scanning QR codes using PhonePe, Google Pay, Paytm, or BHIM. Citizens of India and Bhutan can also exchange money by sharing their virtual payment address (VPA), also known as UPI ID.

Singapore

UPI has been available in Singapore since February 21, 2023. Merchant payments are supported for Indian tourists. The governments of both nations have agreed to link India’s UPI with Singapore’s PayNow. This will allow people to transfer money across borders by simply using a VPA.

France

France is among the newest members to adopt UPI for international transfers with India. UPI was launched in France on February 02, 2024, in a grand ceremony at the Eiffel Tower. Merchants in France can now accept UPI payments using QR codes, and P2P transactions are also supported between Indian and French citizens using VPA.

Mauritius

UPI was launched in Mauritius on February 12, 2024. It’s a popular destination for Indian tourists. Merchants like hotels, restaurants, and travel agencies can start accepting UPI payments using QR codes. Interestingly, citizens from Mauritius visiting India can also scan UPI QR codes to make payments using their Instant Payments Service (IPS), making it a two-way partnership between the nations.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka also joined hands with India to accept UPI payments on February 12, 2024, the same day as Mauritius. Indian citizens can now pay merchants in Sri Lanka using UPI. However, there’s no clarity on P2P transfers yet.

United Arab Emirates

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan inaugurated UPI in Abu Dhabi on February 13, 2024. UPI can now be used for merchant payments in the UAE, along with P2P transactions. India’s Rupay Cards will also be accepted in the UAE, under this new partnership.

Nepal

India and Nepal have signed an MoU to link UPI with NPI (National Payments Interface). The partnership will be similar to India’s UPI linkage with Singapore’s PayNow, enabling both merchant payments and P2P transfers between the two nations. However, the functionality is still under development and is expected to launch commercially within the first half of 2024.

UPI International can be easily enabled in GPay, PhonePe, Paytm, and BHIM App. You can refer to our guide for the detailed steps to activate international UPI transactions in these respective apps.

UPI To Soon Expand In Other Countries

Along with these seven countries, India is in talks with multiple European nations to expand UPI services. The Government of India has already signed an MoU with the Liquid Group in September 2021, which will soon enable QR-based UPI payments in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

Benefits of UPI for International Payments

  • The biggest advantage of UPI is its real-time nature, where money is transferred instantly. Traditional international transfers like SWIFT and WIRE can take up to 3-5 business to get completed.
  • UPI is also free of cost and does not incur any additional transaction fees for international transfers. Users are only required to pay currency conversion charges, which are lower than fees taken for traditional money transfers.
  • UPI is also easy to use, where users are only required to share their virtual payment address (VPA) for sending and receiving money, rather than sharing private information such as bank account numbers.
  • India’s UPI serves as a strong competition to traditional methods of international money transfers as it disrupts the oligopoly of existing players.
  • UPI is strictly regulated by the NPCI and the government body of the partner nation, making it a completely secure means for money transfers.