UPI in North America and Middle-Eastern Countries: Set to Expand Globally

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI), India’s revolutionary digital payment system, is preparing to make its mark on the global stage. After successful launches in Singapore and France, UPI is now eyeing the North American market and other Middle-eastern countries, according to Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), the international arm of the National Payments Council of India.

Key Highlights

  • UPI, India’s Unified Payments Interface, is set to enter the North America market and other Middle-eastern countries.
  • NIPL, the international arm of NPCI, is spearheading the global partnerships for UPI adoption.
  • The focus is on countries significant to Indians, where travel or a large Indian diaspora exists.
  • Different strategic partnerships are established in various countries to enhance infrastructure and interoperability.
  • UPI’s global aspirations received a boost, with Indian tourists being able to make payments using UPI from the Eiffel Tower.
  • UPI’s expansion will accelerate cross-border transactions and contribute to the growth of transaction volumes.

Customised Strategies for Global Adoption

The expansion of UPI abroad is made possible through strategic partnerships forged by NIPL. Established as a subsidiary of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), NIPL is dedicated to deploying UPI and RuPay outside India’s borders. 

“UPI is a platform that is enabling Indian consumers to pay for their merchant and personal transactions. Previously limited to India, UPI is now going global,” explains Shukla. In different countries, NIPL collaborates with local entities to develop infrastructure similar to UPI or foster interoperability with India’s ecosystem.

Building Infrastructure and Fostering Interoperability

NIPL’s partnerships differ from country to country based on their unique requirements. Some nations focus on building infrastructure to create their own sovereign payment platforms, while others prioritise establishing interoperability with India’s UPI ecosystem. The aim is to cater to the needs of Indians travelling abroad and the sizable Indian diaspora residing in North America and the Middle East.

Currently, the transaction limit per day for UPI payments in India has been established by NPCI. As per the guidelines, individuals can initiate a maximum payment of ₹1 lakh per day through UPI. These guidelines ensure secure and regulated transactions while providing flexibility and convenience to users.

Globetrotting with UPI: A Transformative Journey

UPI’s global aspirations took a significant leap forward when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Indian tourists could make rupee payments using UPI from the iconic Eiffel Tower. This milestone event follows India’s successful linkage of cross-border connectivity with Singapore’s PayNow system, further solidifying UPI’s international reach.

India’s UPI system continues to gain international traction, attracting inbound foreign travellers from G20 countries for merchant payments and catering to non-resident Indians (NRIs) in selected international locations.

A Trailblazing Path: UPI’s Global Collaborations

For all those wondering, “UPI in how many countries?” 

Currently, UPI has established partnerships with various countries, enabling seamless money transfers. These nations include Singapore, the US, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and the UK. India has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with 13 countries, including Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, South Korea, and Japan, expressing their interest in adopting UPI for digital payments. Nepal, in collaboration with Manam Infotech and Gateway Payments Service, became the first foreign country to deploy UPI as a payment platform, enabling seamless person-to-person (P2P), person-to-merchant (P2M), and cross-border transactions.

A World Connected: UPI’s Growth Potential

As UPI enters the global arena, cross-border transactions will be accelerated, simplifying payments for individuals and businesses worldwide. Experts predict that the adoption of UPI on a global scale will drive exponential growth in transaction volumes. In fact, UPI’s daily transactions could reach one billion within the next three years, unlocking its full potential.

From Local to Global: UPI’s Expanding Horizon

As UPI goes global, this transformation of UPI from a domestic payment system to a global force marks a milestone in India’s digital payment landscape. With the volume of UPI transactions surpassing 9.33 million in June 2023, and the total value reaching Rs 14.75 lakh crore, UPI’s global expansion promises to revolutionize cross-border transactions, fuel economic growth, and reinforce India’s position as a leader in the digital payment ecosystem.


The expansion of UPI to North America and Middle-Eastern countries signifies a momentous leap forward in India’s digital payment realm. Through strategic partnerships and collaborations, UPI is reshaping cross-border transactions and facilitating global financial connectivity. With transaction volumes projected to surge, UPI’s journey holds tremendous potential, propelling India towards a prosperous future powered by seamless digital transactions.

Sources: moneycontrol.com


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