UPI Making Travel Experience Smoother For Foreign Tourists, Says Study

A large number of foreign tourists said that the mode of payment they use for making payments abroad have a bearing on their overall travel experiences. Problems include those related to understanding price because of language issues to even overcharging or card skimming
UPI Making Travel Experience Smoother For Foreign Tourists, Says Study
UPI Making Travel Experience Smoother For Foreign Tourists, Says Study

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is making travel experience more wholesome for visiting foreign tourists, according to a recent study by CheqUPI, a UPI interface wallet designed for visiting foreigners and non-resident Indians (NRIs).

Apparently, one of the major hassles tourists face when travelling abroad is in making payments in local currency. Thankfully, digital payment has come as a boon to such travellers.

For the survey, CheqUPI spoke to 800 foreign travellers over two months in July and August. About 400 of them were from the US, including non-resident Indians (NRIs), another 200 from the UK and the rest 200 were from Germany, France, The Netherlands and other European Union (EU) countries.

According to the survey, about 75 per cent said cash dependency was one of their most significant challenges, while a huge 85 per cent said that finding ATMs, especially in remote areas that accept international cards was a major inconvenience. Also, 70 per cent of visitors said that language often posed a barrier while interacting with vendors and the introduction of a UPI wallet for foreign nationals would help in overcoming this communication gap while making purchases.

Fluctuations in currency rates was also another challenge. According to 80 per cent of those surveyed, a QR-powered UPI would remove “eliminate worry about unfavourable rates and fees by developing an online payment ecosystem that prioritises cashless transactions.”

According to the survey, 45 per cent of foreign travellers were of the belief that they need to have an Indian phone number for OTP verifications while making online bookings and payments. A quarter of those surveyed also said that they had been vulnerable to scams, including overcharging, fake bills or card skimming. In this background, a digital payment gateway through UPI could minimise their vulnerability to scams while providing a smoother and wholesome foreign travel experience, the study said.

A large number of foreign tourists were also of the opinion that the payment tools they use for making payments abroad have a bearing on their overall travel experiences. Tourists face several routine challenges while making payments and this has an effect on tourism industry as a whole, the survey said.

While some establishments in the metros and the bigger cities do accept international currency or cards, in most of the smaller establishments as well as for daily expenses of smaller amounts, tourists have to use local currency. In most cases, visiting foreign tourists acquire the local currency of the country by converting their currency either at the bank or at authorised currency exchanges at the airport or hotels for a small fee. Still, physical currency had its own problems. There could be issues of loose change or counterfeit currency being passed off to unsuspecting travellers.

“A lack of adequate facilities and access to financial tools can severely impact the interests of foreign visitors. On the contrary, employing robust UPI technology can help in streamlining, optimising and enhancing the digital payment expense for foreign nationals ensuring the delivery of a mesmerising

journey. By harnessing the power of UPI, tourists can make payments from any corner of the country enjoying their journey not as tourists but like any other Indian citizen,” the survey said.

Manish Shukla, co-founder, CheqUPI added: “UPI is all set to revolutionise the digitised financial journey of foreign nationals visiting India by integrating seamless transaction experience with leading-edge technology. With this innovative financial solution, travellers can easily and securely make digital payments at multiple merchant establishments equipped with UPI QR codes across the country taking a step forward to make online payments accessible for everyone.”

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