‘Let’s Pay in Rupees at the Eiffel Tower!’ PM Modi announces UPI in France

PM Modi is currently on a two-day official visit to France, with one of the highlights being his address to the vibrant Indian diaspora.

| Updated: 14 July, 2023 11:06 am IST
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NEW DELHI: In an exciting announcement on July 13th, Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed that Indians can now use the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to pay in Indian Rupees in France, beginning at the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris. This groundbreaking move makes France the first European country to embrace India’s digital payment technology, igniting trade and tourism prospects between the two nations.

Addressing the Indian community at the lively La Seine Musicale, a performing arts center nestled on an island in the river Seine, PM Modi exclaimed, “In France, an agreement has been made for the use of India’s UPI… It will start from the Eiffel Tower, and Indian tourists will now be able to make payments in Rupees, through UPI, at the Eiffel Tower.” With enthusiasm, he added, “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 the Eiffel Tower, which means that Indian tourists will now be able to make payments in Rupees, through UPI, at the Eiffel Tower.”

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The National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI) international arm sealed the deal in 2022, signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with France’s Lyra Network. This collaboration paved the way for the acceptance of UPI and Rupay in the country. Union Communication Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw later confirmed the launch of UPI and Rupay in France. This revolutionary move is set to boost bilateral trade and tourism, cementing closer ties between India and France.

While some countries still face hurdles in adopting digital payment systems, India’s digital landscape has witnessed remarkable transformation. In recent years, digital payment transactions in India have skyrocketed. The UPI system has already been embraced by countries such as the UAE, Bhutan, and Nepal, while Singapore signed an agreement earlier this year to facilitate cross-border transactions. Efforts are underway to expand the use of Rupees globally, reaching the United States, West Asia, and other European countries.

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PM Modi is currently on a two-day official visit to France, with one of the highlights being his address to the vibrant Indian diaspora. During his speech, he emphasized the multifaceted India-France Strategic Partnership, celebrating its 25th anniversary. The Prime Minister also announced the opening of a new consulate in Marseille, France. He recognized the invaluable contributions of the Indian community in France, who form the strong foundation of the India-France partnership.

The introduction of UPI at the Eiffel Tower marks a significant milestone in the digitization of transactions, fostering convenience and inclusivity for Indian tourists in France. As the world witnesses this groundbreaking integration of Indian digital payment systems abroad, it opens doors for more seamless and secure financial transactions across borders.

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