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Digital payments company PayPal has introduced an automated process to obtain the monthly Foreign Inward Remittance Advice (FIRA).

At a zero-cost, PayPal merchants will now be able to download their monthly digital FIRA issued by the bank by simply logging into their PayPal account, PayPal said in a release.

The fully automated process will not require sellers to place manual and individual requests, thereby reducing the time taken to file the paperwork. The initiatives are aimed to empower Indian MSME exporters to seamlessly grow their business internationally.

Foreign Inward Remittance Advice is a document that acts as a proof for all inward remittances and payments received from abroad. This is issued by banks in India and is required by exporters of all sizes individual or a business, such as a limited company, partnership firm, sole proprietorship firm etc.

It is a proof of receipt of export proceeds in foreign currency received from outside the country.

PayPal India Director, Corporate Affairs, Nath Parameshwaran said, “The pandemic has significantly accelerated digital adoption especially amongst small sellers and freelancers.”

“With PayPal, these small exporters have access to 200 markets and a strong consumer base of over 350 million. In 2020, despite the pandemic headwinds, we enabled exports worth Rs 10,000 crore for 3.6 lakh small exporters with a majority driven by tribal, artisan and women led enterprises. A zero-cost, digital FIRA process not only reduces time, saves money and removes friction but also eliminates the need to visit branches and thereby reducing the chances of the COVID-19 infection,” he added.

Previously, Indian sellers and freelancers had to send a manual request to PayPal’s partner bank and also pay a fee for the service. The bank would then issue FIRA as a physical statement which could take up to 10 days and required the seller to visit the bank to collect the same.

PayPal’s monthly digital FIRA solution will allow merchants to download the FIRA from their PayPal account. The sellers will be notified via an email once the FIRA is made available. The simplified process also enables Indian sellers to apply for bill closure and get tax benefits at a much faster rate.

The paperless process is also a step in the direction towards PayPal’s mission to reach net zero emissions by 2040, the release added.

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