Non-Resident Indians in 10 countries will now be able to use the Unified Payments Interface, or UPI, platform through their international numbers.

UPI is a real-time payment system that allows instant funds transfer between two bank accounts through a mobile application. The system has been developed by National Payments Corporation of India, an umbrella body of retail payments and settlement systems operating under the Reserve Bank of India.

In a statement, the National Payments Corporation of India on Tuesday said that the NRIs will now be able to use their international phone numbers for bank accounts classified as Non Resident External or Non Resident Ordinary.

The countries where the service is now applicable are Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. NRIs in these countries can now set up a UPI account on an international phone number by using that country’s code.

“We have been receiving requirements from the eco-system with regards to the non-resident accounts and other permissible accounts having international numbers to be allowed to transact in UPI,” the NPCI circular said. “And there has been customer demand in the ecosystem to enable UPI for their NR accounts having international numbers and experience the seamless and instant journey of UPI.”

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday that remittances sent to the country by overseas Indians amounted to $100 billion (Rs 8,16,485 crore) in 2022, an increase of 12% as compared to the past year. She made the statement while addressing the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention in Indore.

The UPI payments system was launched in 2016 and had gained popularity with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the NPCI, the total value of UPI transactions was Rs 12,82,055.01 crore in December. The system can be used with 382 banks.