France becomes first European country to accept UPI
Mumbai/Toulouse, 2 February 2024: NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) in partnership with Lyra, a French leader in securing e-commerce and proximity payments, has announced the acceptance of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payment mechanism in France starting with the iconic Eiffel Tower.
Indian tourists can now book their visit to the Eiffel Tower by purchasing tickets online using UPI — making the transaction process quick, easy, and hassle-free.
The official announcement was made in Paris at an event organized by the Indian Embassy in France to celebrate the Republic Day of India. His Excellency M. Jawed Ashraf, the Ambassador of India to France and Monaco, along with distinguished guests including Prisca Thevenot, Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister and Government Spokesperson, France, Alain Lacour, President of the Lyra Group, Christophe Mariette, Commercial Director of Lyra France, and Patrick Branco Ruivo, CEO of Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, graced the occasion.
This announcement is of particular significance considering that Indian tourists rank as the second largest group of international visitors to the Eiffel Tower. With this development, Indian tourists can make secure online transactions by simply using their UPI powered apps to scan QR code generated on the merchant website and initiate a payment.
Acceptance of UPI in France not only provides Indian tourists with a seamless payment option but also opens up numerous opportunities for merchants across France and Europe operating in the tourism and retail sectors. While 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 will make it significantly easier for touring Indians to remotely book hotels, museums visits, etc. for their stay in France.
Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NIPL, 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.”
Christophe Mariette, Commercial Director of Lyra France, said, “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.”
With over 380 Million users, UPI as a payment method has significantly marked its presence in India, evidenced by its recent milestones. In January 2024 alone, UPI recorded over 12.2 billion transactions, emphasizing its widespread adoption. This remarkable achievement solidifies its position as the world’s most efficient instant payment system.