The umbrella body for retail payments National Payment Corporation of India’s (NPCI) international arm NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), has partnered with Mashreq Bank — a UAE-based digital banking solutions provider — to offer Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in the UAE.
According to the press statement, this partnership will benefit over 2 Mn Indians who travel to UAE for business or leisure purposes every year. The users will now be able to pay for their purchases seamlessly using UPI-based mobile applications across shops and merchant stores in the UAE.
Incorporated in April 2020, NIPL is the fully-owned subsidiary of NPCI devoted to deploying of NPCI’s real-time payment system – UPI and card scheme – RuPay, outside of India.
Earlier this year in July, NPCI also partnered with the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) of Bhutan to implement UPI-based payments in Bhutan, making it the first foreign country to adopt UPI. It is expected to benefit an estimated 200,000 tourists from India who travel to Bhutan each year.
Ritesh Shukla, chief executive officer, NIPL, said, “We are committed to transforming payments by taking our robust payments solutions to global markets and collaborating with willing partners. Our partnership with Mashreq Bank will enable consumers from India to transact seamlessly using NPCI’s world-renowned UPI platform and deliver a seamless user experience.”
The strategic tie-up between the NPCI and Mashreq is expected to boost the digital payment ecosystem in the UAE and aid for a wider reach of UPI in the international markets.
According to Mashreq, the initiative is timely given there is a growing appetite amongst customers and retailers to leverage mobile-based payment systems. The bank claims to have witnessed 20% month-on-month growth in pick-up rate as young and tech-savvy customers seek to use the mobile payment systems along with a growing number of retailers across the UAE that accept such transactions.
Kartik Taneja, EVP – Head of Payments Mashreq Bank, said, “We are delighted to collaborate with NIPL to introduce their mobile-based real-time payment systems to our customers in the UAE. We are the first in this market to partner with NIPL and offer cutting-edge mobile-based digital payments to our clients.”
The implementation of the UPI is expected to bring in opportunities for enterprises in the UAE and will help them compete with much larger retailers.
UPI is a real-time payments (RTP) system enabling person to person (P2P) and person to merchant (P2M) transactions. UPI transactions in India have been witnessing a massive surge owing to covid. This year alone, NPCI recorded 3.24 Bn transactions — a 15.7% growth month-on-month.