In an exciting development for Indian tourists, France has now opened its doors to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a move that heralds a new era of financial convenience and innovation. This initiative, spearheaded by NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) in collaboration with Lyra, a French leader in securing e-commerce and proximity payments, marks a significant milestone in cross-border payment solutions. Here’s everything you need to know about making payments in France using UPI.
UPI now accepted in France
The announcement that UPI payments are now accepted in France is a game-changer, especially at iconic locations like the Eiffel Tower, where Indians represent the second-largest group of international visitors. This development means that Indian tourists can now book tickets online for the Eiffel Tower using their UPI-powered apps, offering a seamless and secure transaction experience right from their smartphones.
How It Works
The process is straightforward and user-friendly. Indian tourists can make payments by scanning a QR code generated on the merchant’s website using their UPI apps. This digital payment mechanism is designed to be secure, leveraging the robust infrastructure provided by NPCI and the local expertise of Lyra in France.
What is the Significance of This Move
The collaboration between NIPL and Lyra signifies more than just an additional payment option; it’s a strategic move aimed at enhancing the convenience for Indian tourists and opening up new business opportunities within the French and European tourism sectors. According to Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NIPL, this initiative is part of a broader effort to collaborate with financial institutions globally to offer convenient and secure cross-border payment solutions.
Christophe Mariette, Commercial Director of Lyra France, also emphasized the partnership’s potential impact on the tourism industry, indicating a significant advancement and the promise of new business opportunities.
The introduction of UPI in France could potentially save Indian tourists money on transactions. Traditional credit and debit card payments for international transactions often include markup charges ranging from 0.99% to 3.5%. However, UPI transactions, facilitated through the agreement between NPCI and Lyra, are expected to be exempt from these charges since payments are made in rupees.
Despite the potential savings, it’s important to note, as Adhil Shetty, CEO at BankBazaar.com, pointed out, that there might be some additional transaction and currency conversion fees associated with international UPI transactions. The exact charges and fees may vary depending on the banks, payment service providers, and the regulatory guidelines in place.
UPI’s Growing Footprint
With over 380 million users and more than 12.2 billion transactions recorded in January 2024 alone, UPI’s dominance in India’s payment ecosystem is undisputed. Its foray into France signifies an important step in UPI’s international expansion, offering Indian tourists a familiar and trusted payment method even while abroad.
The acceptance of UPI payments in France represents a significant leap forward in financial technology, promoting ease of transaction for Indian tourists and fostering greater economic interaction between India and France. As this system continues to evolve, it will likely pave the way for more countries to adopt similar cross-border payment solutions, further simplifying the global travel experience.