India’s UPI making major global moves – little by little

It all started in early 2024 when a fairly interesting news story sparked headlines: UPI selects Google to take digital wallet global.

India’s UPI making major global moves

The basis of the deal was that The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) selected Google Pay as part of its strategy to take India’s digital wallet system, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), to global markets.

The collaboration between Google India Digital Services and NPCI was designed to simplify international payments for Indian travellers and also to assist in the development of UPI-like digital payment infrastructures in other nations.

Its was interesting enough for Payments Cards & Mobile to cover at the time, but I personally did not think to much of it.

Well, more fool me. Since that point the NPCI has inked, not particularly high profile deals, but there are a fair few and its an interesting trend to be aware of.


NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) the international arm of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), in partnership with Lyra, announced the acceptance of UPI payment mechanism in France starting with the iconic Eiffel Tower.

This announcement is of particular significance considering that Indian tourists rank as the second largest group of international visitors to the Eiffel Tower. With this development, Indian tourists can make secure online transactions by simply using their UPI powered apps to scan QR code generated on the merchant website and initiate a payment.

Acceptance of UPI in France not only provides Indian tourists with a seamless payment option but also opens up numerous opportunities for merchants across France and Europe operating in the tourism and retail sectors.

While Eiffel Tower is the first merchant to offer UPI payments in France, this service will soon be extended to other merchants in the tourism and retail space. This will make it significantly easier for touring Indians to remotely book hotels, museums visits, etc. for their stay in France.


Banks and financial institutions in the UAE will start issuing the payment card called Jaywan from Q2 of 2024.

Created in 2023, Al Etihad Payments (AEP) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Central Bank of the UAE. It was established to develop and operate financial markets infrastructure for the UAE.

The company started operations in all retail systems, including legacy ones that the Central Bank used to run such as the Wage Protection System and the UAE Switch.

Jaywan, owned and operated by AEP, was announced during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE. Jaywan uses licensed technology from India’s payment operator NPCI.

In October 2023, AEP and NIPL signed a partnership to advance the development of the UAE’s first national Domestic Card Scheme (DCS).

Jaywan would be useable in India also, once all the electronic linkages are put in place.

According to Global Data, the UAE’s cards and payment market was estimated to be nearly $120 billion (Dh440.4 billion) by the end of 2022 and it is expected to grow at a high single-digit growth rate in the coming years.


NIPL and Fonepay Payment Service, Nepal’s largest payment network, announced that UPI is now live for cross-border transactions between India and Nepal.

Both entities are now fully operational and ready to facilitate QR-code-based person-to-merchant (P2M) UPI transactions between the two countries. In its first phase, this partnership will enable Indian consumers to make instant UPI payments across various business stores in Nepal by using UPI-enabled Apps.

Merchants acquired by the participating members of Fonepay Network can seamlessly accept UPI payments from Indian customers.

The integration of payment systems by NIPL and Fonepay marks a big shift in cross-border transactions between citizens of both countries, ushering in a new era of convenience and efficiency.


NIPL has signed an agreement with the Bank of Namibia (BoN) to support them in developing an instant payment system like Unified Payment Interface for Namibia.

This collaboration marks a strategic leap towards strengthening Namibia’s financial infrastructure and fostering inclusive economic growth, the partnership seeks to help Namibia modernize its financial ecosystem.

This includes improving accessibility, affordability, connectivity with both domestic and international payment networks, and interoperability.

This strategic partnership aims to enhance digital financial services and bolster real-time Person-to-Person (P2P) and Merchant payment transactions (P2M) in the African nation.

Through this collaboration, BoN will gain access to best-in-class technology and insights from NIPL, enabling the creation of a similar platform in Namibia for the digital welfare of its citizens.

As I say, none of these announcements as stand alone are remarkable, but put them all together and it paints an interesting trend for the roll out of Indian payments technology globally.


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