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Now NRIs, Indian tourists can make QR code-based UPI payments in UAE

UPI payments will be accepted across retail, hospitality, transport, and supermarkets, including Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates

Now NRIs, Indian tourists can make QR code-based UPI payments in UAE
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

NPCI International Payments Ltd, the overseas arm of the firm behind India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI), has tied up with the Middle East’s leading digital payments processor, Network International, to enable QR code-based payments in the UAE.

Indian tourists and non-resident Indians can now make seamless transactions across Network International’s extensive merchant network, which includes over 200,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals at 60,000 merchants in the Middle Eastern nation.

UPI payments will be accepted at 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, NPCI International said in a statement.

“Our partnership with Network International will deepen UPI’s presence in the UAE. By growing UPI payment acceptance across merchants, 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,” Ritesh Shukla, chief executive officer of NPCI International, said.

The number of Indian tourists travelling to the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries comprising Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain, besides the UAE, is projected to increase to 9.8 million this year, with the UAE also expected to welcome 5.29 million arrivals from India.

“We are delighted to partner with NPCI International 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 realizing our vision to empower businesses and merchants with the latest payment technologies and strengthening the vision of a digital UAE,” Nandan Mer, group chief executive of Network International, said.

The growth in Indian visitors to the GCC nations is driven by various factors, including business and leisure, NPCI International said in the statement, adding that by enabling UPI acceptance through its POS terminals, Network will provide a QR-based safe and secure method for facilitating cross-border payments.

“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-years’ legacy of technological innovation to enable acceptance of UPI-based payment apps to its merchants to drive global interoperability,” Jamal Al Nassai, group managing director for merchant services–Middle East and North Africa at Network International, said.

NPCI International was incorporated on 3 April 2020 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI).

As NPCI’s international arm, NIPL focuses primarily on deploying UPI, NPCI’s real-time payment system, and card scheme (RuPay) outside India.

Network International is the largest digital payments company in the Middle East and Africa, operating in over 50 countries with 200 financial institutions and 120,000 merchants.

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