India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) that allows users to transfer money instantly using their mobile phones has expanded its reach to Sri Lanka and Mauritius. This marked them as the second and third countries after France to adopt the Indian innovation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually launched the UPI service in both the island nations on Monday, in the presence of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the respective leaders of Sri Lanka and Mauritius.
The first UPI transaction in Sri Lanka was made by PM Modi himself. Along with the UPI, the RuPay card service was also launched in Mauritius, in collaboration with the Bank of Mauritius and the Reserve Bank of India.
The leaders of Sri Lanka and Mauritius expressed their gratitude to PM Modi and India for sharing their digital payment technology and strengthening their bilateral ties. Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe also congratulated PM Modi on the successful launch of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, a historic temple dedicated to Lord Ram.
PM Modi hailed the launch of UPI as a landmark moment for India’s digital diplomacy and a testament to its “Neighbourhood First” policy. He said that UPI has revolutionised the way people make payments in India, reaching even the smallest and remotest of villages. He also highlighted India’s SAGAR initiative, which stands for Security and Growth for All in the Region, and aims to ensure peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indian Ocean region.
Meanwhile, the Eiffel Tower, a globally renowned tourist spot, has emerged as the pioneer in France to embrace India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) service. This has been made possible through a collaboration between NPCI International Payments (NIPL), the global division of NPCI, and Lyra, a French firm specializing in e-commerce and proximity payment solutions.
This partnership has facilitated the acceptance of UPI in France, with the Eiffel Tower being the inaugural merchant to provide UPI payment options to Indian visitors. Tourists from India can now initiate payments in Indian rupees by scanning a QR code available on the merchant’s website. Looking ahead, NIPL and Lyra have plans to broaden the reach of the UPI service to additional merchants in the tourism and retail industries throughout France and Europe.
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