UPI Goes Live in France
India’s unified payments interface (UPI) has expanded its reach beyond Indian borders, as it recently launched in France. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) announced on February 2nd that NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), in partnership with Lyra, a French leader in securing e-commerce and proximity payments, has made the UPI payment mechanism available in France. This development allows Indian tourists visiting France to conveniently purchase tickets online for the iconic Eiffel Tower using UPI, streamlining the transaction process and eliminating any hassles.
The significance of this announcement lies in the fact that Indian tourists represent the second-largest group of international visitors to the Eiffel Tower. By enabling secure online transactions through UPI-powered apps, Indian tourists can simply scan the QR code generated on the merchant website and initiate a payment, making the process quick and easy. The acceptance of UPI in France not only benefits Indian tourists but also presents numerous opportunities for merchants in the tourism and retail sectors across France and Europe.
While the Eiffel Tower is the first merchant to offer UPI payments in France, this service will soon be extended to other merchants in the tourism and retail space. This expansion will make it significantly easier for touring Indians to remotely book hotels, museum visits, and other activities for their stay in France. This move towards embracing UPI payments in international markets aligns with NIPL’s ambition to establish a truly interoperable global payment system. Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NIPL, expressed their commitment to collaborate with financial institutions worldwide and provide consumers with convenient and secure cross-border payment solutions.
The strategic partnership between NIPL and Lyra has been instrumental in making UPI available in Europe. Christophe Mariette, Commercial Director of Lyra France, expressed his pride in having the trust of the Indian government and NIPL to launch UPI in Europe. He also highlighted their longstanding presence in India and the strength of their collaboration with the country. This partnership not only demonstrates their ability to stay ahead of market trends but also reinforces their ambition to offer all payment methods used worldwide. For players in the French and European tourism ecosystems, this collaboration represents a significant advancement and the promise of new business opportunities.
On July 14, PM Modi told the Indian community at La Seine Musicale in Paris: “I am happy that India and France are also working together in direction. Whether it is India’s UPI or other digital platforms, they have brought a huge social transformation in the country.” The use of UPI in France has been agreed upon by France and India. I will depart following the agreement. Still, you have the responsibility to proceed. Dear friends, it will be made from the Eiffel Tower in the coming days, meaning that Indian tourists will now be able to pay at the Eiffel Tower using UPI in rupees.”
Recently, as the Chief Guest for the Republic Day Parade, French President Emmanuel Macron traveled to India. Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi engaged over tea at a tea stall during their visit to Jaipur. Macron made a purchase there using UPI. Before they visited Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, PM Modi gave Macron an explanation of the UPI digital payment system while they were in a neighborhood store.
UPI has gained immense popularity in India, with over 380 million users. In January 2024 alone, UPI recorded over 12.2 billion transactions, highlighting its widespread adoption and success. With this expansion into France, UPI continues to solidify its position as a convenient and widely accepted payment method.
In conclusion, the launch of UPI in France is a significant development that benefits Indian tourists visiting the country. By offering a seamless and secure payment option, UPI simplifies the process of booking tickets and other activities for their stay. This expansion not only serves the needs of Indian tourists but also opens up opportunities for merchants in the tourism and retail sectors across France and Europe. With its growing user base and widespread adoption in India, UPI’s foray into international markets marks a step towards establishing a truly interoperable global payment system.