Feedback | Saturday, July 13, 2024

03/07/24 | 4:14 pm | Dubai | India

UPI poised for widespread adoption in UAE as QR code payments become mainstream

NPCI International Payments Ltd. (NIPL), in partnership with Network International, a leading digital commerce enabler across the Middle East and Africa, has facilitated the acceptance of QR-code-based Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments across point-of-sale (POS) terminals in the UAE.

This initiative aims to provide seamless transaction experiences for Indian tourists across Network International’s extensive merchant network in the UAE. With over 200,000 POS terminals spread across 60,000+ merchants in various sectors such as retail, hospitality, transport, and supermarkets, the UPI acceptance rollout will encompass a diverse range of establishments, including popular tourist and leisure attractions. The collaboration aligns with the UAE’s vision to enhance its status as a leading global tourist destination and commerce hub.

The number of Indian tourists traveling to Gulf Cooperation Council countries is projected to reach 9.8 million in 2024, with the UAE expecting 5.29 million arrivals from India. This growth is driven by various factors, including business, employment, and leisure travel.

Satish Kumar Sivan, Consul General of India in Dubai, commented, “Indians constitute the largest inward tourist cohort to the UAE, particularly Dubai; this development contributes significantly to the economic goals of both nations, including achieving non-oil trade targets. The introduction of UPI in the UAE symbolizes a tangible outcome of the robust economic partnership between our countries.”

UPI, India’s leading instant payments system, boasts over 350 million active users and processed a staggering 14.04 billion transactions in May 2024. The integration of UPI acceptance into UAE’s payment infrastructure introduces a secure, QR-based method for cross-border transactions.

This development enables Indian tourists and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) with Indian bank accounts to seamlessly use UPI for payments across a wide network of merchants in the UAE. By offering a familiar payment option, this initiative enhances convenience for visitors from India, allowing them to transact effortlessly using their preferred UPI-enabled apps throughout their stay in the UAE.

Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NPCI International, added, “Our partnership with Network International will expand UPI’s footprint in the UAE.

By increasing UPI payment acceptance across merchants, we are providing Indian travelers with a seamless and familiar payment experience while promoting the use of innovative digital payment solutions internationally. This collaboration highlights our commitment to technological advancement and creating a more connected global payment ecosystem.”

Nandan Mer, Group CEO of Network International, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “We are thrilled to collaborate with NPCI International Payments Limited to strengthen the payment ecosystem for Indians visiting or working in the UAE.

This initiative supports our vision of empowering businesses with the latest payment technologies and advancing the UAE’s digital transformation. We believe this partnership will foster a robust digital payments ecosystem and increase cashless transactions in the country.”

The Unified Payments Interface was officially launched in the UAE during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Abu Dhabi, marking the interlinking of India’s UPI with the UAE’s instant payments platform, AANI, and facilitating seamless cross-border transactions between the two countries. This agreement, signed during PM Modi’s visit, also includes the interlinking of domestic debit/credit cards – RuPay from India and JAYWAN from the UAE, enhancing financial connectivity and cooperation.

Earlier, Mashreq, a leading financial institution in the MENA region, partnered with NPCI International to integrate UPI-enabled apps such as PhonePe with NEOPAY, Mashreq’s payment platform. With more financial institutions pitching in for UPI adoption, Indian customers traveling to the UAE, as well as NRIs with Indian bank accounts, can enhance their payment convenience by downloading their preferred UPI-enabled app.

Vinod Kumar (UAE)

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Last Updated: 13th Jul 2024