PhonePe launched its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for Indian travellers as well as NRIs residing in the country on March 28. This service will now allow PhonePe users to make rapid digital transactions by scanning a QR code at retail stores, dining outlets, and other tourist attractions. The service is being enabled through UAE’s major bank Mashreq via its Neopay terminals. Notably, a report recently claimed that WhatsApp was also testing international UPI payments via its mobile apps for Indian users.

In a press release, PhonePe said that users will be able to make UPI payments in UAE through Mashreq’s Neopay terminals, which is available across a wide range of outlets. The UAE-based bank partnered with the National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI) International Payments Limited (NIPL) in 2021. That collaboration paved the path for PhonePe to form a new partnership with Mashreq to utilise the terminals for its platform.

“We aim to actively collaborate with financial institutions around the world, fostering partnerships to deliver convenient and secure cross-border payment solutions for consumers. This partnership encourages fintech collaboration and unifies the ecosystem to streamline payment processes for Indian travelers to UAE,” Anubhav Sharma, Deputy Chief – Partnership Business Development & Marketing, NIPL said.

The service will work in a fairly straightforward way. Users can simply scan the QR code located at the outlets to make payments. The transaction will occur in Indian currency while the users will see the currency exchange rate for transparency. Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) will also be able to avail this service using UAE mobile numbers by downloading the app and linking their existing Non-Resident External (NRE) and Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) accounts. The company said that this service is aimed at enhancing the convenience of transactions for the Indian community in the UAE.

Ritesh Pai, CEO of International Payments, PhonePe said at the launch of the service, “We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Mashreq. UAE is a very popular destination, with millions of Indian visitors every year. With this partnership, customers can now conveniently transact through UPI, a payment method they are familiar with.”



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