Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and RuPay cards will soon be accepted in France as NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) on Thursday announced that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with French payment services company Lyra Network. The new development comes months after NPCI partnered with firms including Discover Financial Services (DFS) of the US, Bhutan’s Royal Monetary Authority (RMA), Japan Credit Bureau (JCB) of Japan, and Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) of Singapore to expand UPI and RuPay outside of India.
“Considering India doing 5.5 billion UPI transactions per month, this strategic partnership will definitely prove to be a game-changer in the digital payments ecosystem,” IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on the announcement.
The minister also said the partnership would be a step towards making UPI available to the world.
NPCI Board and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April 2020 established NIPL as a subsidiary of NPCI to expand the deployment of UPI and RuPay solutions outside of the country. Since then, the global entity has tied up with different organisations, payment networks, and banks in different countries to grow NPCI’s digital payment products.
In July last year, NIPL partnered with Bhutan’s central bank RMA to enable QR-based UPI transactions in the country. It was an expansion of NIPL in the Bhutanese market as it was earlier accepting and issuing RuPay cards.
That launch was projected to benefit more than 200,000 Indian tourists who travel to Bhutan every year.
NIPL also in February this year tied up with payments gateway Gateway Payments Service and fintech company Manam Infotech to enable UPI-based payments in Nepal.
Alongside expanding RuPay and UPI in global markets through NIPL, the Central government is taking steps to widen the reach of NPCI’s payments offerings in India itself.
In April, NPCI approved WhatsApp to expand its UPI-based payments feature to 100 million users. It also brought UPI Lite as a service to allow small-value transactions in offline mode. Similarly, it introduced ‘123Pay’ UPI service to bring UPI to feature phone users.
RBI also recently allowed linking RuPay credit cards with UPI to help boost the usage of both payment offerings in the country.