Indian Tourists Embrace UPI for Seamless Transactions

Indian Tourists Embrace UPI for Seamless Transactions

By Author

Published on February 6, 2024

The iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris is ushering in a new era for Indian tourists, allowing them to effortlessly purchase tickets via India's Unified Payment Interface (UPI). This groundbreaking development, announced during a celebratory event hosted by the Indian Embassy in France for Republic Day, marks a significant leap forward in global digital transactions.

In a strategic collaboration, NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), a subsidiary of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), has joined forces with Lyra, a French e-commerce and payments platform, to introduce the UPI payment mechanism in France. The Eiffel Tower proudly becomes the first merchant in the country to embrace UPI, with plans to extend this service to other tourism and retail establishments across France and Europe.

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With this integration, Indian tourists can now streamline their Eiffel Tower visit by purchasing tickets online through the simple and secure UPI payment system. This user-friendly process involves scanning a QR code generated on the merchant's website, making the transaction quick, easy, and hassle-free.

The vision of a truly interoperable global payment system takes a step closer to reality as NIPL actively collaborates with financial institutions worldwide to establish partnerships. Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NIPL, emphasizes the ambition to enable acceptance of NPCI's payment solutions in international markets, offering consumers convenient and secure cross-border payment solutions.

Lyra, with its 17-year presence in India, expresses pride in the partnership and the potential it holds for the French and European tourism ecosystem. Christophe Mariette, Commercial Director of Lyra France, highlights the promise of new business opportunities resulting from this collaboration.

This move follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement during his visit to France, where he declared the initiation of the UPI payment mechanism from the iconic Eiffel Tower. The global reach of UPI extends to various countries, including Singapore, where the payment system has been seamlessly integrated, showcasing India's commitment to digital advancements.

With more than 380 million users in India, UPI has become a cornerstone of digital transactions, recording a staggering 12.2 billion transactions in the previous month alone. The Eiffel Tower's adoption of UPI not only simplifies the payment process for Indian tourists but also paves the way for a digital revolution in global tourism.


Square Introduces Tap to Pay on iPhone for Canadian Entrepreneurs

Square Introduces Tap to Pay on iPhone for Canadian Entrepreneurs

By Nishang Narayan

Published on May 28, 2024

Square, the renowned financial services and mobile payment company, has unveiled Tap to Pay on iPhone in Canada, marking a significant advancement in contactless payment technology. Available within the Square Point of Sale, Square for Retail, and Square Appointments iOS apps, this feature allows sellers to process payments directly from their iPhones, eliminating the need for additional payment hardware.

Tap to Pay on iPhone simplifies the transaction process for both new and established businesses. By utilizing Apple’s secure payment technology, which ensures that no card numbers are stored on the device or Apple servers, Square offers a reliable and secure solution for business transactions. This functionality is particularly beneficial for mobile professionals such as tradespeople and caterers, as well as retailers and beauty professionals, enabling them to accept payments efficiently at any location.

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The integration of Apple's contactless payment technology with Square’s user-friendly software provides a seamless checkout experience. Customers can complete their purchases swiftly by using contactless credit or debit cards, Apple Pay, or other digital wallets. This method not only enhances the customer experience but also aligns with the increasing consumer preference for contactless payments.

Since its initial launch in the US in late 2022, followed by expansions to Australia and the United Kingdom, Tap to Pay on iPhone has become an integral component of Square’s ecosystem. It offers a versatile and adaptable payment solution suitable for various business environments.

Saumil Mehta, Head of Product at Square, emphasized the benefits of this innovation, stating, "With Tap to Pay on iPhone, we are further levelling the playing field for businesses of all sizes to be able to start, run, and grow. It helps reduce some of the barriers to entry for new businesses and enables existing sellers to create new ways to sell with nothing more than their iPhone and Square’s software."

Canadian entrepreneurs can start using Tap to Pay on iPhone today by downloading the Square POS, Square for Retail, or Square Appointments app from the Apple App Store. This feature is compatible with iPhone XS models or later running the latest version of iOS. For more information, visit Square's official Tap to Pay page.

About Square:

Square, Inc. is a financial services, merchant services aggregator, and mobile payment company based in San Francisco, California. The company aims to simplify commerce through technology, providing tools to help businesses start, run, and grow.


InnSpire and Optii Join Forces to Enhance Hotel Operations with AI Integration at The Don CeSar

InnSpire and Optii Join Forces to Enhance Hotel Operations with AI Integration at The Don CeSar

By Nishang Narayan

Published on May 28, 2024

InnSpire, a frontrunner in delivering cutting-edge technology solutions for the hospitality industry, has announced a strategic collaboration with Optii Solutions, renowned for its hotel operations optimization platform. This partnership marks a significant step in enhancing operational efficiency and guest service through AI and machine learning innovations.

The integration has been rolled out at The Don CeSar in St. Pete Beach, Florida, where it merges InnSpire’s comprehensive guest journey platform with Optii’s AI Smart Concierge solution. This synergy aims to streamline hotel operations from housekeeping to guest services, ensuring top-tier guest satisfaction and operational agility.

Martin Chevalley, CEO and Co-founder of InnSpire, emphasized the benefits of this integration, stating, "Our collaboration with Optii harnesses the power of AI to refine hotel operations and elevate both guest and staff satisfaction. This partnership is a testament to our commitment to integrating practical AI solutions that enhance service delivery and operational efficiency across the hospitality industry."

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The Don CeSar utilizes InnSpire’s InnSpire.ONE AI platform, which includes features like mobile check-in, digital key access, and a full in-room digital entertainment ecosystem. This platform enhances communication, personalizes guest interactions, and optimizes task management, which is crucial for maintaining the high standards expected at the historic resort.

Parker Harvey, Room Division Director at The Don CeSar, shared his enthusiasm about the improvements: "Our ongoing partnership with InnSpire has transformed how we engage with our guests. With the addition of Optii’s solutions, we are seeing significant enhancements in our operational workflows, enabling us to provide even more efficient and personalized services."

This strategic move by InnSpire and Optii not only sets a new benchmark in utilizing technology for hotel management but also demonstrates a robust model for future advancements in the hospitality sector.

For more information on InnSpire and Optii’s solutions and their impact at The Don CeSar, please visit InnSpire’s official website.


McDreams Hotels Introduce AI-Powered Phone System "Lisa" for Enhanced Guest Service

McDreams Hotels Introduce AI-Powered Phone System "Lisa" for Enhanced Guest Service

By Nishang Narayan

Published on May 21, 2024

McDreams, a prominent hotel group in Germany, has taken a significant leap in enhancing guest services by implementing an AI-powered phone system named "Lisa." Developed by Onsei, a leader in AI software solutions, Lisa is designed to handle a variety of guest inquiries including room availability, booking details, and local area information.

This innovative system is currently managing half of all routine guest calls independently, which has resulted in halving the front desk call volume and reducing the group's overall operational workload by one-third. The implementation of Lisa has not only streamlined operations but also boosted employee satisfaction by allowing staff to focus on more complex guest needs.

The integration of Lisa with the hotel's property management system, Like Magic, has propelled a 50% increase in guests following a completely digital journey from booking to check-out. This seamless integration has proven effective in enhancing the overall guest experience.

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Ralf Bonin, McDreams Operations Director, praised the system, stating, "Lisa is not just an automated phone service; she acts like a living, breathing member of the team, capable of providing reliable communication and services to our guests."

The deployment of Lisa has also led to significant financial benefits, with a reduction in personnel expenses for administrative tasks by 80%, translating to a projected annual savings of €600,000 ($650,570).

As McDreams continues to innovate within the hospitality industry, the introduction of AI technologies like Lisa sets a new standard for guest service efficiency and effectiveness, promising a brighter, more efficient future for hotel operations.

For more information about McDreams' innovative approach to guest services, visit their website at McDreams Hotels.

This strategic move by McDreams underscores their commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology to enhance guest satisfaction and operational efficiency, setting a benchmark in the hospitality industry.

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