UPI in France: Indian tourists can now spend in Rupees at Eiffel Tower

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UPI in France: Indian tourists can now spend in Rupees at Eiffel Tower (Image: Twitter/narendramodi)
UPI in France: Indian tourists can now spend in Rupees at Eiffel Tower (Image: Twitter/narendramodi)

New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Thursday that India and France have reached an agreement to utilize the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) as a payment mechanism, with the iconic Eiffel Tower serving as the starting point. Speaking at the La Seine Musicale, a renowned performing arts center located on an island in the Seine River, PM Modi addressed the Indian community and highlighted the convenience this collaboration will bring for Indian tourists in France, who will now have the ability to make payments in Indian rupees.

"In France, an agreement has been made for the use of India's UPI... It will be started from the Eiffel Tower, and now Indian tourists would be able to make payments in Rupees, through UPI, in the Eiffel Tower," stated the Prime Minister.

The initiative stems from a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2022 between the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which oversees UPI services, and France's secure online payment system, known as Lyra.

The UPI system has been expanding its global reach, with the recent signing of an agreement between UPI and Singapore's PayNow, enabling users from both countries to conduct cross-border transactions. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bhutan, and Nepal have already adopted the UPI payment system. Furthermore, the NPCI international division is currently engaged in discussions to extend UPI services to the United States, European countries, and West Asia.

During his address, Prime Minister Modi also referred to a study conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which revealed the positive impact of India's efforts on the global stage. "An IMF study says that extreme poverty in India is now on the verge of ending. When India does such great work, it benefits not only the country but the entire humanity," emphasized Modi.

Amidst the enthusiastic chants of 'Modi, Modi' and 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' from the crowd, the Prime Minister further disclosed that plans are underway to construct a statue of the revered Tamil philosopher Thiruvalluvar in the Cergy Prefecture within the next few weeks or months.

Additionally, PM Modi reminisced about his personal connection with France, dating back over four decades to when he became the first member of the Alliance Fran├žaise Centre in Ahmedabad in 1981. "My attachment to France is quite old, and I can never forget it. Around 40 years ago, a cultural center of France was established in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and today, the first member of that very center is speaking to you," reminisced the Prime Minister.