How Can NRIs Use UPI? Here’s Your Simple Guide

If you’re an NRI wondering whether you can jump on the UPI bandwagon like everyone back home in India, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” But, like most good things, there’s a bit of a process involved.

UPI, the payment system that has transformed money transactions in India, is not just limited to residents. As of recent regulatory updates, NRIs with an NRE (Non-Resident External) or NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) account linked to their Indian mobile number can also use UPI.

Here’s how you can set this up and start tapping away on payments with the same ease as if you were back in the local chai shop.

Setting Up UPI as an NRI

Step 1: Ensure Eligibility

  • Bank Accounts: First, ensure you have an NRE or NRO account with a bank in India. UPI is accessible to NRIs through these accounts.
  • Indian Mobile Number: UPI requires linking with an Indian mobile number. This number should be registered with your bank to receive OTPs (One Time Passwords) for transaction verification.

Step 2: Choose Your UPI App

  • App Options: Download a UPI-enabled app. Popular choices include BHIM, Paytm, Google Pay, and PhonePe. While some apps may have restrictions based on your current location, others like BHIM are pushing to make their services globally accessible.
  • Installation and Setup: Install the app and follow the setup instructions. This will involve linking your bank account and setting a UPI PIN.

Step 3: Link Your Bank Account

  • Verification: You’ll need to verify your bank account through the app. This is typically done by sending an SMS from your registered mobile number, so ensure you have your Indian SIM active.
  • Set UPI PIN: If you haven’t already set a UPI PIN for your bank account, you’ll be prompted to create one. Remember, this PIN will be required for executing transactions, so keep it secure.

Step 4: Start Transacting

  • Send or Receive Money: With UPI, you can instantly transfer money to anyone in India using their UPI ID, mobile number, or bank account details. You can also pay for services or use it for business transactions if you’re managing finances for operations in India.

Benefits of Using UPI for NRIs


  • Instant Transfers: UPI allows for real-time bank transfers, which are a boon when you need to send money quickly without the hassle of traditional banking delays.
  • No Geographical Barriers: Manage payments and transactions in India right from your phone, no matter where you are in the world.

Low Cost

  • Minimal Fees: UPI transactions typically come with lower fees compared to traditional wire transfers or international money transfer services.

Safety and Security

  • Secure Transactions: UPI is built with robust security measures including two-factor authentication and dynamic OTP generation, ensuring the safety of your financial transactions.

Summary: UPI, Your Financial Bridge to India

For NRIs looking to maintain financial ties with India, whether it’s paying bills, managing property expenses, or simply sending money to family, UPI presents a practical solution.

It breaks down the barriers of international banking, offering a secure, swift, and user-friendly platform for managing your finances across borders.

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Mani Karthik

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Mani Karthik

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