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Network International Partners with NPCI International to enable UPI QR payment acceptance across its merchants in the UAE

Published On : 3 July 2024
  • Unified Payments Interface (UPI) enables users to make QR code-based real-time payments
  • This collaboration facilitates seamless and secure cross-border merchant transactions for Indians travelling to the UAE

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

The initiative will facilitate seamless transactions for Indian tourists across Network International’s vast merchant network in the UAE. Network has over 200,000 POS terminals across 60,000+ merchants in sectors including retail, hospitality, transport, and supermarkets among others. UPI acceptance will be rolled out progressively, covering a wide range of establishments from retail stores and dining outlets, as well as tourist and leisure attractions including Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates.

The collaboration between Network and NIPL, the international arm of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), aligns with the UAE’s vision to strengthen its position as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and a global hub for commerce and businesses. The number of Indian tourists travelling to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is projected to reach 9.8 million in 2024, with the UAE anticipating 5.29 million arrivals from India. This growth is driven by various factors including business, place of work and leisure travel. 1

UPI is India’s largest instant payments system with over 350 million active users, and it processed 14.04 billion transactions in May 2024 alone. By enabling UPI acceptance through its POS terminals, Network will provide a QR-based safe and secure method for facilitating cross-border payments. This will allow Indian tourists and NRIs with Indian bank accounts to use UPI for payments across Network’s POS terminals in the UAE.

Nandan Mer, Group CEO of Network International, said, “We are delighted to partner with NPCI International Payments Limited to strengthen the payments ecosystem for Indians visiting or working in the UAE. By enabling customers to pay in their preferred method, we are one step closer to realising our vision to empower businesses and merchants with the latest payment technologies and strengthening the vision of a digital UAE. We are confident that this partnership will drive a robust digital payments ecosystem in the country that will increase cashless transactions.”

Jamal Al Nassai, Group Managing Director for Merchant Services – Middle East and North Africa at Network International, commented: “The launch of this partnership is a milestone for our extensive merchant network, which stands to benefit immensely from the new payment method. As the leading acquirer in the region, Network will leverage its 30-year legacy of technological innovation to enable acceptance of UPI-based payment apps to its merchants to drive global interoperability.”

Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NPCI International, stated, “Our partnership with Network International will deepen UPI’s presence in the UAE. By growing UPI payment acceptance across merchants in the UAE, we are not only providing Indian travellers with a seamless and familiar payment experience, but also promoting the use of innovative digital payment solutions internationally. This collaboration exemplifies our commitment to driving technological advancement and creating a more connected global payment ecosystem.”

[1] Indian visitors to GCC to increase 81 by 2024.

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