UPI goes to France: NPCI International signs MoU with Lyra Network

After the UAE, Singapore, Nepal, and Bhutan, this is NPCI International's fifth global partnership to expand India's digital payment products—UPI and Rupay cards—across the globe.
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After the UAE, Singapore, Nepal, and Bhutan, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Thursday said it has launched the Unified Payment Services (UPI) in Europe, starting with France.

NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL)—the international arm of NPCI—has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with France-based payments solution provider Lyra Network to accept UPI and Rupay cards in the country, Union Communications and Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced during his visit to France for the Viva Technology 2022 event. 

The deal will allow Indians to pay using UPI and Rupay cards at terminals and machines offered by Lyra Networks, making it easier for Indian students and tourists to make payments.

“The whole world is watching that India is doing 5.5 billion UPI transactions in a month. This is a big achievement for India. Today’s MoU with France is a big step towards the world,” the minister told ANI

International forays

In 2020, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and NPCI established NIPL as the latter's subsidiary to expand the deployment of UPI and Rupay solutions outside India. The international subsidiary has been forging partnerships with banks and payment providers to expand NPCI’s digital payment products.

In April 2022, NPCI signed a deal with NeoPay, a payments subsidiary of UAE’s Mashreq Bank, allowing Indians in the UAE to make payments using UPI on the payment provider’s terminals across the country. 

It also signed similar deals in Bhutan, Singapore, and Nepal.

NPCI linked the Indian payment system with Singapore’s PayNow to allow users to make instant, low-cost fund transfers on a reciprocal basis. In 2021 and 2022, it deployed UPI services in Bhutan and Nepal, respectively, by partnering with banks and payment service providers.

Widening reach

UPI has become one of the most widely accepted digital payment modes because of its ease and convenience. As of February 2022, nearly 304 banks are available on the UPI platform, with a monthly transaction volume of 4.52 billion and a transaction value of Rs 8.26 lakh crore. 

In its effort to widen UPI's reach across India, in March 2022, NPCI launched ‘UPI lite – On-Device wallet’ to enable small-value transactions in offline mode. Similarly, it introduced the '123Pay' UPI service to bring UPI to non-smart/feature phone users.

Recently, the RBI announced linking Rupay credit cards with the UPI network.

UPI—an instant real-time payment system developed by NPCI—facilitates inter-bank peer-to-peer (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions. UPI's interface is regulated by the RBI, which instantly transfers funds between two bank accounts on a mobile platform.

Edited by Suman Singh