UPI Payments Arrive in UAE

Cash exchange woes for Indian tourists visiting the United Arab Emirates are a thing of the past. A collaborative effort between NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) and Network International, a leading payment solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa, has introduced UPI, India's popular digital payment system, to UAE shores. This integration allows Indian visitors and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to seamlessly pay at over 60, 000 merchants across the UAE using their familiar UPI mobile applications.

The initiative signifies a significant development in the realm of cross-border payments, streamlining the financial experience for a growing demographic. According to estimates, nearly a million Indian tourists are expected to visit the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region in 2024, with the UAE being a major destination. UPI's arrival caters to this influx, enabling them to make secure and instant payments via QR codes at point-of-sale terminals within retail stores, hospitality establishments, transportation services, and supermarkets.

This collaboration not only benefits tourists but also fosters the digitalization of the UAE's payment landscape. Network International boasts a robust network exceeding 200, 000 point-of-sale terminals, spread across more than 60, 000 merchants. By integrating UPI, they empower their merchants to cater to a wider customer base, specifically targeting the tech-savvy Indian demographic. Additionally, the QR code-based system eliminates the need for physical cards or cash transactions, enhancing security and transaction speed.

The introduction of UPI in the UAE is a significant step towards the internationalization of India's homegrown digital payment solution. NCPI, through its international arm, NIPL, has been actively pursuing partnerships to expand UPI's reach beyond Indian borders. The UAE joins a growing list of countries, including Singapore, Bhutan, and Nepal, where UPI payments are now accepted. This international expansion not only benefits Indian travelers but also positions UPI as a viable alternative to traditional cross-border payment methods.

Looking ahead, the success of this initiative paves the way for further expansion of UPI's footprint. With its growing global acceptance and the increasing number of Indian tourists venturing abroad, UPI is poised to revolutionize the way Indians manage their finances during international travel.

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