Your full guide to UPI international transfers

Aditya Shrivastava

UPI (Unified Payments Interface) is a digital payment system that has revolutionized how people make payments in India. While UPI began as a domestic service, it has now grown to support international transfers for users in India. Here's our guide to international transfers with UPI.

📝 Guide to International Transfers with UPI

Using UPI to make payments abroad

Indian users can now make international UPI payments by scanning a QR code at selected businesses abroad in selected countries. To get started, you will need to activate international payments on UPI apps that support international payments, such as PhonePe, Google Pay, and Bhim UPI app.

Here's our guide to UPI International with PhonePe - one of the first UPI apps to support global payments.

💡 Travel Tip for UPI International Payments
Making international payments with UPI is a relatively new feature and currently available only at selected businesses in certain countries. Therefore, we don't recommend relying solely on your UPI app to make payments while traveling abroad from India. However, we are keeping a close eye on any updates, as UPI acceptance is expanding globally. We expect that international payments with UPI will become more convenient in the near future. So, stay tuned for updates! 🎉

UPI international fees when making payments abroad

While UPI transfers within India are generally free, the convenience of international payments through UPI comes at a cost. When you're using UPI for payments abroad, you essentially make an international transfer from your bank.

So, while apps like Google Pay or PhonePe do not charge any fee for UPI International, the costs come from the international transfers fee associated with your bank.

In addition to your bank's international transfer fee, another cost you have to watch out for is a markup on the exchange rate when converting INR to foreign currency. The banks convert currencies at forex rates that are higher than the mid-market rate you see on Google — and the one used by Wise for international transfers.

So, while UPI transfers can be a convenient alternative to making payments abroad, you will need to be mindful of the international transfer fee and currency exchange rate to avoid any surprises when you make a payment abroad.

Sending international transfers from India with UPI

When you travel abroad, you can use UPI International to pay international businesses by scanning a QR code, as explained above. However, this provision is not intended for outward remittances from India.

As of now, sending money out of India through UPI is not yet available for consumers, but it's coming very soon. There have been announcements about linking India's UPI with real-time payment systems of other countries such as Singapore and UAE. So, let's stay tuned for updates about sending international transfers from India with UPI!

Meanwhile, you will need to look into alternatives for sending money abroad. Make sure to check for any hidden fees and markups on the exchange rate when you compare providers.

We cover the popular options in our guide to sending money to a foreign bank account from India 👉

Receiving international transfers in India with UPI

Residents of India can receive an international transfer from abroad directly to their UPI address. To do this, you will need to give the sender abroad your VPA (UPI's Virtual Private Address) and ask them to use a money transfer app that supports payments to UPI accounts in India.

Popular platforms that support payment to UPI accounts in India include:

Wise is a convenient, easy-to-use app that supports international transfers to UPI id and bank accounts in India, with one low transfer fee and the mid-market currency exchange rate — which is the same as the one you see on Google.

UPI international fees when transferring to India

The transfer costs vary depending on the app you use to make a UPI transfer to India. Here's what it costs to use Wise:

There are two main expenses when sending money to India from abroad with UPI. The first is a transfer fee, and the second is an exchange rate fee.

The transfer fee is the transaction cost - it depends on the amount sent and where it is going. You may also run into differing transfer fees depending on how you are making the payment. Sometimes, using a credit card to pay for a transfer can increase the transfer fee cost, while a wire transfer or bank account payment can keep the fee low. Make sure to double-check the payment method costs when looking at international transfers.

The second fee is a hidden fee in the exchange rate. When the exchange rate you get is weaker than the mid-market rate you see on Google, that's when you know the service is taking a cut of every dollar or pound you convert.

Wise displays its transfer fee upfront and does not hide any markup in the currency exchange rate. Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate for currency conversion — which is the same as the one you see on Google.


UPI international transaction limit

For foreign remittances, the official limit on UPI transfers is up to INR 2,00,000 in one transfer. Note that the actual limit may be less depend on the app you use to make the transfers.

If you have to send more than INR 2 lakhs to India, you can consider sending it directly to the recipient’s bank account instead of their UPI address.

Send money to UPI or Bank Accounts in India with Wise 👉

How much time does UPI international transfer take?

A UPI transfer time depends on the platform you are using. Domestic transfers are immediate but international transfers can take longer. A platform like Wise can have the money in India within a few hours on popular routes; other services can take up to a few days.

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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