German Minister Wissing Impressed By UPI While Buying Veggies
Image Credit: X, German Embassy, India

When it comes to the digital revolution, many believe that India is not at par with the rest of the world, especially leading nations like Germany. However, during a recent trip to India, a German Federal Minister, Volker Wissing, was left impressed by how much progress India has made in overcoming the digital divide and how the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in particular is helping bridge the gap between farmers and food consumers. 

Volker Wissing, who is Germany’s Federal Minister for Digital and Transport, was visiting Bangalore for the G20 Digital Ministers Meeting to deepen Indo-German cooperation in the digital, artificial intelligence and related sectors. While in town, Wissing visited the local vegetable market with representatives from the German Embassy in India and conducted his first transaction via UPI to buy fresh veggies. 

In a video posted by the German Embassy in India, Wissing can be seen at a vegetable vendor’s, buying fresh green beans. An associate can be seen helping him with the transaction, from scanning the QR code provided by the vendor to the final transfer of money announced by the vendor’s PayTM machine. Wissing can then be seen holding up the bag of beans and the German Federal Minister does indeed look impressed by the whole incident. 

Following this, the German Embassy posted the video and related images on X, previously known as Twitter, hailing UPI as a success story for India’s digital infrastructure. “One of India’s success story is digital infrastructure. UPI enables everybody to make transactions in seconds,” the Embassy wrote. “Millions of Indians use it. Federal Minister for Digital and Transport @Wissing was able to experience the simplicity of UPI payments first hand and is very fascinated!” 

For those unaware, UPI is India’s mobile-based fast payment system and can be used across many apps to conduct financial transactions around the clock. All you need is a Virtual Payment Address (VPA) for the buyer and the seller. So far, India, Sri Lanka, France, UAE and Singapore have partnered with India to take this fintech solution global. Given how impressed the German Minister was by this UPI transaction, can we expect that a partnership with Germany is also likely now? 

The partnership with France was made in July 2023 through a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Be it India's UPI or other digital platforms, they have brought a huge social transformation in the country and I am happy that India and France are also working together in direction,” the PM had announced during his Paris visit. “India and France have agreed to use UPI in France. I will leave after the agreement. However, it is your job to move forward. Friends, in the coming days its beginning will be made from Eiffel Tower which means that Indian tourists will now be able to make payments in Rupees, through UPI, at Eiffel Tower."