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India's UPI Reaches Paris

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The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) made a groundbreaking announcement, revealing India's Unified Payments Interface (UPI) can now be used to buy tickets to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. The official launch of UPI at the Eiffel Tower in Paris took place on Friday, February 2, during the Indian Republic Day reception.

How does it work?

This collaboration between UPI and the French digital payment platform Lyra allows Indian tourists to purchase tickets for the iconic Eiffel Tower using UPI, making the transaction process much simpler.

The Eiffel Tower is the first merchant to offer UPI payments in France.

This development marks a significant step towards the global acceptance of digital payments, especially for Indian tourists who can now pay in their local currency, the rupee, while visiting the iconic landmark. It also ensures that the needs of a global audience can be catered to while maintaining the highest standards of security and convenience.

However, the advantages extend beyond specific travellers. This move is also an opportunity for the Indian fintech industry. It indicates the increasing significance of developing systems that are adaptable and scalable across different regulatory and economic environments.

Was this where it all began?

Remember the viral video where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron were seen chatting while enjoying tea served in traditional earthen cups outside a shop near Hawa Mahal? French President Emmanuel Macron was impressed when he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi used UPI to pay for tea during a visit to Jaipur. Macron, who was on a two-day state visit to India as the chief guest of this year's Republic Day, was visibly surprised when the shopkeeper instantly received confirmation of the payment.

Even during India's G20 Presidency last year, the government showcased the 'Digital India' initiative. As part of this, the central government provided practical demonstrations to approximately 1,000 foreign delegates visiting the event, showcasing the technology behind UPI wallets and how convenient it is to make payments using this homegrown solution. Foreign delegates were given Rs 500-1,000 in their UPI wallets for doing UPI transactions, with the government earmarking around Rs 10 lakhs for this purpose.

The initiative

The India-France UPI collaboration move comes just weeks after Google Pay India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the NPCI's international payments subsidiary, which marks another significant step towards expanding the reach of UPI globally.

“Remember, more merchants in France and Europe are expected to join the UPI bandwagon. This is just the beginning.”

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