New Delhi, July 05, 2024: NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) in partnership with Network International (Network), a leading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, has enabled the acceptance of QR code-based Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments via Network’s point-of-sale (POS) terminals in the UAE.

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This initiative ensures seamless and secure transactions for Indian tourists and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) 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 number of Indian tourists travelling to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is projected to increase to 9.8 million in 2024, with the UAE anticipating 5.29 million arrivals from India. The growth is driven by various factors including business and leisure.[1] 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.

Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NPCI International, said, “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.”

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-years’ legacy of technological innovation to enable acceptance of UPI-based payment apps to its merchants to drive global interoperability.”

By Sujata