France has allowed the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to operate within the country. NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) and Lyra, a French leader in securing e-commerce and proximity payments, have announced that the UPI payment mechanism is now accepted in France.
Indian tourists can now book tickets to the Eiffel Tower online using UPI. With this, France becomes the first European country to accept UPI. The official announcement was made in Paris during an event hosted by the Indian Embassy in France to commemorate India’s Republic Day.
According to NPCI International Payments Limited, the Eiffel Tower is the first merchant in France to accept UPI payments; other merchants in the tourism and retail sectors will follow suit.
“At NIPL, we want to enable acceptance of NPCI’s payment solutions in international markets and build a truly interoperable global payment system. We intend to actively collaborate with financial institutions around the world to form partnerships and offer consumers convenient and secure cross-border payment solutions. We have taken another step towards this goal by forming a strategic partnership with Lyra,” said NIPL CEO Ritesh Shukla.
“It gives me great pride to have the trust of the Indian government and NIPL to launch UPI in Europe. We have been in India for 17 years, and this partnership demonstrates the strength of our relationship with this vast country. We also demonstrate our ability to stay ahead of market trends and reinforce our commitment to offering all payment methods used globally. For the players in the French and European tourism ecosystems, this partnership represents a significant step forward and the promise of new business opportunities,” said Christophe Mariette, Lyra France’s Commercial Director.
During his visit to France, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the UPI payment mechanism will be launched at the iconic Eiffel Tower.
Speaking to the Indian community at La Seine Musicale in Paris, PM Modi stated, “Be it India’s UPI or other digital platforms, they have brought a huge social transformation to the country, and I am happy that India and France are also working together in this direction.”
“India and France agreed to use UPI in France. I will depart following the agreement. However, it is your responsibility to move forward. Friends, in the coming days, it will begin at the Eiffel Tower, which means that Indian tourists will be able to pay in rupees via UPI at the Eiffel Tower,” the Prime Minister said.
Last year, the Indian government announced that non-resident Indians (NRIs) from ten countries can use UPI to send and receive money if their domestic bank accounts are linked to their international phone numbers.
The countries included Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
In February of last year, India and Singapore linked their digital payment systems, UPI and PayNow, to enable instant transfers. In Singapore, PayNow would be used to make UPI payments work.
For UPI transactions in Singapore, the DBS Bank provides the NPCI with an exchange rate. The organisation adds a markup to the price. The rate and markup are then displayed to the customer, and the transaction is completed only after they agree. The sending bank transfers the total rupee amount to the NPCI settlement bank.
The NPCI settlement bank then instructs the DBS to credit the beneficiary’s bank with Singapore dollars. The NPCI shares a portion of the markup with the sending bank, and all banks receive the same amount.