If you are an Indian or a foreigner who travels to India frequently, you must have heard of UPI, or Unified Payments Interface. UPI is an instant, real-time payment system that allows you to transfer money between bank accounts using your mobile phone. UPI is developed by NPCI, or National Payments Corporation of India, which is an umbrella organization for all retail payment systems in India.
UPI is one of the most popular and convenient ways to make payments in India, as it eliminates the need for cards, wallets, or cash. You can use UPI to pay for anything, from groceries and bills to online shopping and travel bookings. You can also use UPI to send and receive money from your friends and family, or even from abroad.
But did you know that UPI is not only limited to India? In fact, many countries around the world have adopted or are planning to adopt UPI as a payment method, thanks to its simplicity, security, and interoperability. This means that you can use UPI to make payments in these countries, just like you do in India. This can save you a lot of hassle and money, as you don’t have to worry about currency conversion, exchange rates, or transaction fees.
In this blog post, I will tell you about the list of countries where India’s UPI is accepted, and how you can use UPI to make payments in these countries. I am a travel blogger and a digital nomad, who has been using UPI for the past few years. I have visited many of these countries and experienced the benefits of UPI first-hand. I will also share some tips and tricks on how to use UPI effectively and safely while traveling abroad.
How UPI Works Internationally
Before I tell you about the list of countries where India’s UPI is accepted, let me explain how UPI works internationally. UPI is based on the concept of QR codes, which are two-dimensional barcodes that can be scanned by a smartphone camera. A QR code contains the information of the recipient, such as the name, account number, and UPI ID.
To make a payment using UPI, you need to have a UPI app on your smartphone, such as BHIM, Google Pay, PhonePe, or Paytm. You also need to have a bank account linked to your UPI app, and a UPI PIN to authenticate the transaction. Once you have these, you can follow these steps to make a payment using UPI:
- Open your UPI app and select the option to scan a QR code.
- Scan the QR code of the merchant or the person you want to pay. You can find the QR code on the bill, the website, the app, or the physical store of the merchant.
- Enter the amount you want to pay and confirm the details of the recipient.
- Enter your UPI PIN to authorize the transaction.
- You will receive a confirmation message on your UPI app and a notification on your phone.
That’s it! You have successfully made a payment using UPI. The money will be debited from your bank account and credited to the recipient’s bank account instantly. You can also check the status of your transaction on your UPI app.
The beauty of UPI is that it works across borders, as long as the recipient has a UPI-enabled QR code. This means that you can use UPI to pay for goods and services in any country that accepts UPI, without any hassle. You don’t need to have a local bank account, a local currency, or a local SIM card. You can use your Indian bank account, your Indian UPI app, and your Indian phone number to make payments using UPI.
List of Countries Where India’s UPI is Accepted
Now that you know how UPI works internationally, let me tell you about the list of countries where India’s UPI is accepted. As of February 2024, UPI is accepted in 10 countries, namely:
- Saudi Arabia
- Hong Kong
These are the countries that have officially partnered with NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), the international arm of NPCI, to enable UPI payments in their markets. NIPL provides the technical support and guidance to the local payment service providers, banks, and regulators to implement UPI in their countries.
However, this does not mean that UPI is only limited to these 10 countries. In fact, UPI can be used in any country that has QR code-based payment systems, such as China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. These are the countries that have not officially partnered with NIPL, but have compatible payment systems that can accept UPI payments.
To use UPI in these countries, you need to look for the QR code of the local payment service provider, such as Alipay, WeChat Pay, Line Pay, GrabPay, or GoPay. You can then scan the QR code using your UPI app and make the payment as usual. However, you need to be careful about the exchange rate and the transaction fee, as they may vary depending on the local payment service provider and your bank.
Tips and Tricks to Use UPI Effectively and Safely While Traveling Abroad
Using UPI while traveling abroad can be a great way to save money and time, as you don’t have to carry cash, cards, or wallets. However, you also need to be careful about some things, such as:
- Check the exchange rate and the transaction fee before making a payment using UPI. Some banks may charge a higher fee or a lower rate for international transactions, which may affect the final amount you pay. You can compare the rates and fees of different banks and UPI apps on the NPCI website or the UPI Chalega website.
- Check the limit and the validity of your UPI app and your bank account. Some UPI apps and banks may have a limit on the amount or the number of transactions you can make using UPI in a day, a week, or a month. Some UPI apps and banks may also require you to verify your identity or your phone number periodically, which may not be possible if you are traveling abroad. You can check the limit and the validity of your UPI app and your bank account on the NPCI website or the UPI Chalega website.
- Check the availability and the reliability of the internet connection and the mobile network in the country you are visiting. UPI requires a stable internet connection and a mobile network to work properly. If the internet connection or the mobile network is slow, weak, or unavailable, you may not be able to make or receive payments using UPI. You can check the availability and the reliability of the internet connection and the mobile network in the country you are visiting on the World Bank website or the Speedtest website.
- Check the security and the privacy of your UPI app and your bank account. UPI is a secure and encrypted payment system, but it is also vulnerable to frauds and scams. You need to protect your UPI app and your bank account from hackers, phishing, malware, and other threats. You can do this by:
- Using a strong and unique UPI PIN and changing it regularly.
- Using a secure and updated UPI app and avoiding third-party or unknown apps.
- Using a secure and updated smartphone and avoiding public or unsecured devices.
- Using a secure and updated antivirus and firewall software and avoiding suspicious links or attachments.
- Checking the details of the recipient and the amount before confirming a transaction.
- Checking the status and the history of your transactions and reporting any suspicious or unauthorized activity to your bank or UPI app.
UPI is a revolutionary payment system that has changed the way people make payments in India. It is also a global payment system that has been adopted by many countries around the world. UPI can make your travel experience easier, cheaper, and more convenient, as you can use it to pay for anything, anywhere, anytime.
I hope this blog post has helped you to understand the list of countries where India’s UPI is accepted, and how you can use UPI to make payments in these countries. I also hope that you have learned some tips and tricks to use UPI effectively and safely while traveling abroad.
If you have found this blog post useful, please share it with your friends and family who are planning to travel abroad. Also, if you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
Q: What is UPI and how does it work?
A: UPI, or Unified Payments Interface, is an instant, real-time payment system that allows you to transfer money between bank accounts using your mobile phone. UPI works by scanning a QR code of the recipient, entering the amount, and confirming the transaction with a UPI PIN.
Q: Which countries accept UPI payments?
A: As of February 2024, UPI is accepted in 10 countries, namely: Bhutan, France, Nepal, Oman, Singapore, UAE, UK, USA, Saudi Arabia, and Hong Kong. These are the countries that have officially partnered with NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), the international arm of NPCI, to enable UPI payments in their markets. UPI can also be used in any country that has QR code-based payment systems, such as China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.