International payments platform PayPal has digitised the Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate (FIRC) application process for the ease of Indian sellers and freelancers. With the new process, PayPal sellers receiving payments from across the globe can apply for an FIRC online by filling a form on the PayPal website and paying the FIRC fee via NEFT as opposed to the previous process of a Demand Draft (DD), reducing tedious paper work. “Indian online sellers and freelancers are expected to contribute as much as 40 per cent towards future revenue generation and economic growth. We see immense potential in the India SMEs, freelancers and merchants, and aim to streamline the payment process for them as they chase their aspirations,” said Narsi Subramanian, Director, Growth, PayPal India. He added that by simplifying the process of accepting international transactions, we want to encourage sellers to tap the global marketplace. FIRC is a document that acts as a testimonial for all the inward remittances entering India.
Most of the statutory authorities accept this document as proof that an individual or a business, such as a limited company, partnership firm, sole proprietorship firm and others, has received a payment in foreign currency from outside the country. Previously, Indian sellers and freelancers had to visit the beneficiary bank branch to request an FIRC, get a demand draft for the FIRC Fee and then apply for an FIRC to Citibank. Now, with the online process, sellers can simply fill an application form on the PayPal website and pay the FIRC fee by NEFT.
PayPal will directly share the details with Citibank for the FIRC. The certificate can be directly collected by the sellers and freelancers from their beneficiary banks. Last year, PayPal announced a 50 per cent reduction in the FIRC fee/advice fee from Rs 200 to Rs 100 per transaction, for up to 20 transactions and rolled out a process for a consolidated FIRC.