France has allowed the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to work in the country. NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) and Lyra, a French leader in securing e-commerce and proximity payments, have announced the acceptance of the UPI payment mechanism in France.
From now on, Indian tourists can book their visit to the Eiffel Tower by purchasing tickets online using UPI. With this, France has become the first European country to accept UPI. The official announcement was made in Paris at an event organised by the Indian Embassy in France to celebrate the Republic Day of India.
Eiffel Tower is the first merchant to offer UPI payments in France, thereafter it will extended to other merchants in the tourism and retail space, NPCI International Payments Limited said.
“At NIPL, our ambition is to enable acceptance of NPCI’s payment solutions in international markets and create a truly interoperable global payment system. We aim at actively collaborating with financial institutions worldwide to establish partnerships and provide consumers with convenient and secure cross-border payment solutions. Through this strategic partnership with Lyra, we have taken another step forward towards this goal,” said Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NIPL.
“It is a great pride to have the trust of the Indian government and NIPL to launch UPI in Europe. We have been present in India for 17 years, and this partnership confirms the strength of our collaboration with this vast country. We also demonstrate our ability to stay ahead of market trends and strengthen our ambition to offer all payment methods used worldwide. For the players in the French and European tourism ecosystem, this partnership represents a major advancement and the promise of new business opportunities to come,” said Christophe Mariette, Commercial Director of Lyra France.
During his visit to France, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that UPI payment mechanism will begin from the iconic Eiffel Tower.
Addressing the Indian community at La Seine Musicale in Paris, PM Modi said, “Be it India’s UPI or other digital platforms, they have brought a huge social transformation in the country and I am happy that India and France are also working together in direction.”
“India and France have agreed to use UPI in France. I will leave after the agreement. However, it is your job to move forward. Friends, in the coming days its beginning will be made from Eiffel Tower which means that Indian tourists will now be able to make payments in Rupees, through UPI, at Eiffel Tower,” the Prime Minister said.
Last year, the Indian government said that non-resident Indians (NRIs) from 10 countries can use UPI to send and receive money if their domestic bank accounts are linked to their phone numbers abroad.
The list of countries included Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, US, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
In February last year, India and Singapore linked their digital payments systems, UPI and PayNow, to enable instant transfers. In Singapore, the route would include PayNow for UPI payments to work.
For UPI transactions in Singapore, the DBS Bank is providing an exchange rate to the NPCI. The organisation adds a markup to the rate. Then the rate and the markup are shown to the customer, and the transaction goes through only when the customer agrees. The sending bank credits the total rupee amount to the NPCI’s settlement bank.
The NPCI’s settlement bank then instructs the DBS to credit the beneficiary’s bank in Singapore dollars. The NPCI shares a part of the markup with the sending bank, and all banks get the same share.