Travelling to Europe just got better for Indian travellers as they will now be able to enjoy the region’s natural beauty and also enjoy the convenience of using UPI. NIPL which is NCPI’s (National Payments Corporation of India) international arm has now partnered with Worldline, the payment services facilitator in Europe. This partnership will allow Indian tourists to make payments using United Payments Interface while travelling in Europe.
Here’s all you need to know about using UPI in Europe.
What is UPI & how it works?
For the uninitiated, UPI is short for Unified Payments Interface. It is a real-time payment mechanism that allows users to instantly transfer funds between two bank accounts using their mobile phones. UPI allows multiple bank accounts to be embedded in a single mobile application. This concept was developed by the National Payments Corporation of India and is governed by the RBI and IBA (Indian Bank Association).
Also Read – UPI Lite – Everything you should know about it
Will UPI be available outside India?
With the NIPL and Worldline coming together to offer UPI in Europe, UPI will now see a growing acceptance outside India. As per the partnership agreement, Worldline aims to offer enhanced convenience to Indian tourists in Europe by allowing the acceptance of UPI across merchants’ point-of-sale (POS) systems.
At present, Indians who visit Europe have to pay for any expenses via international cards. With the introduction of UPI, Indians will now be able to use multiple bank accounts to make payments via a single mobile application. This is expected to benefit travellers by enhancing customer experience and also merchants as it will open up new business opportunities.
Merchants in Europe will also benefit from the introduction of UPI as there will be a rise in spending by Indian tourists in the region.
How can Indian travellers use UPI in Europe?
Under the arrangement agreed between Worldline and NIPL, Worldline will provide a QR code-based system to allow UPI users to access merchants’ Point-of-Sale (PoS) systems in Europe. Thus, Indians who are travelling across Europe will be able to make UPI payments using their mobile phones. In the future, there are also chances of RuPay debit or credit cards being allowed for making payments in Europe.
Which European countries will accept UPI payments?
According to NPIL, UPI payments will be allowed in Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Netherlands. In the future, NPIL and Worldline’s partnership could be expanded to roll out services in more European countries.
Future of UPI
UPI has seen a rapid expansion in India as more consumers are relying on this payment mechanism due to convenience and ease of usage. Today, most businesses in urban India accept UPI payments to gain an edge by offering seamless checkout to customers. UPI is likely to continue being a dominant digital payments player, followed by BNPL or Buy Now Pay Later.
In September 2022, UPI saw 678 Cr transactions as compared to 657 Cr transactions a month ago. This reflects a massive month-on-month (MoM) growth of 3.2%.
UPI transaction volume rose by 4% from only Rs. 10.73 Lakh Cr in August 2022 to Rs. 11.16 Lakh Cr in September 2022. For the first time, on a year-on-year basis, UPI transaction volume crossed the $1 Tn mark in 2022.
The table shows the rise in UPI transactions from Jan’22 – Sep’22
|Month||No. of Banks live on UPI||Volume (in Mn)||Value (in Rs. Cr.)|
As per NPCI data, people mostly use UPI to pay for groceries, supermarket shopping, mobile recharge, eating out and online shopping.
With the rollout of UPI-powered apps across Europe, there is a possibility of an influx of more Indian tourists in the continent over the coming years. The UPI launch will be a big boon for Indian travellers in Europe who are used to paying through UPI in their own country. Once the UPI popularity is tested in the region, Indian customers can also look forward to using their RuPay debit or credit cards for making payments in Europe.
UPI payments made by Indians in Europe will be in the local currency and not Indian Rupees. Thus, similar to card transactions, UPI transactions will also attract a currency conversion charge.
Although it is not possible to send money from India to foreign countries through UPI, UPI users who are in India can receive funds from foreign users using UPI.
Currently, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Singapore, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and France Oman have entered into cross-border payment agreements to allow UPI transactions. However, this facility will now also be available for Indian travellers in Europe.
UPI is based on a highly secured platform, that requires users to first register using their mobile number that is pre-registered with a bank. A user’s account goes through an authentication process before one can begin using UPI for payments.