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Without an effective and efficient payment system, the wheels of trade and commerce will inevitably come to a grinding halt. Conversely, when done well, payments can transform businesses, sectors and entire regions, while also delivering superlative value to consumers.

Magnati, the fully owned payments subsidiary of First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), is at the cutting edge of the digital payment landscape in the UAE and is setting a new standard for innovation and delivery. In 2020, despite the pandemic, the business increased volume growth, serving over 30,000 merchants, issuing more than two million prepaid cards, and processing around $18 billion in transaction value. It emerged as the leader in government payments, merchant acquiring, prepaid cards and the growing e-commerce segment.

Ramana Kumar, CEO of Magnati, points out that technology has impacted every industry and the payments sector is no exception. The availability of digital platforms such as smartphones, tablets and mobile applications means customers’ expectations of how they transact with businesses has changed irrevocably. “People now judge everything by the quality and speed of their experience,” he says. “They demand instant and seamless service in all areas of their lives, including payments.”

To deliver on this new normal in payments, Magnati has been leveraging FAB’s scale and expertise — along with the latest in technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and APIs — to transform payments into possibilities. Here are seven ways it has been transforming payments in the region.

1. Integrated merchant solutions

Magnati offers an array of customised industry-specific solutions to make payments seamless and to provide a better experience for merchants and customers in diverse areas such as government services, healthcare, education, real estate, hospitality, F&B, retail and even parking solutions for both attended and un-attended environments. It has a single API that makes integration easier, reduces cost and effort, and supports an enterprise’s aspirations of boosting speed to market.

2. Available everywhere

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Magnati’s platform offers card and electronic payment acceptance services for various government entities in the UAE – for both online and point of sale (POS) payments. The list includes ADPay and eDirham. It also supports smart routing, dynamic currency conversion (DCC) and multi-currency transaction processing capabilities that bring in additional revenue opportunities to merchants. Besides, it accepts all types of wallets, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, along with FAB’s own and increasingly popular payit wallet. This support can be further extended to wallets such as AliPay and EDW. The APIs that Magnati provides seamlessly integrate websites, mobile apps, IVR systems, and customer support centres.

3. Value-added offerings

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The Magnati platform supports recurring payments, tokenisation, batch processing, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and Easy Payment Plan (EPP) innovations. For e-commerce, it also offers a secure pay-by-link payment channel, which generates a link that is sent via an e-mail or SMS. Consumers can pay for goods and services by simply clicking on the link that re-directs them to a secure payment page. Currently IKEA, Toys R Us, Al Futtaim Watches and have implemented BNPL, while IKEA has also opted for EPP. Moreover, Magnati has engaged other key merchants to expand BNPL and EPP offerings.

4. Business in a Box

Enterprises typically juggle multiple backend systems to fulfil their business requirements. This is both tedious and expensive. Magnati has solved the challenges by providing a single integrated digital solution that provides end-to-end visibility. Instead of requiring heavy CAPEX investment in different software and hardware, it offers a single, affordable subscription model that covers all needs.

Called Business in a Box, the platform provides a full suite of applications and functions that any business might need, thereby helping them to be cost-efficient and agile. The solution can enable a comprehensive list of features such as multiple payment channels — including cash, card, QR code and credit — discount modules, offline sales registration and synchronisation, order history and reprinting, purchase and inventory management, customer credit module, shop expenses tracking, incident management, supplier configuration, reports and dashboards.

5. Super Surprises

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Magnati’s Super Surprises is an AI tool that offers deep insights into customer behaviour and allows businesses to increase sales or footfalls by leveraging these insights. It analyses spending behaviour of every single card that was used in Magnati’s payment ecosystem. This helps merchants to create personalised offers, campaigns and discounts for each customer, which in turn boosts engagement levels and repeat sales. Merchants also save on expensive marketing activities that they might otherwise need to dabble in to increase customer retention and sales.

6. Building loyalty

Magnati’s payment as a platform for merchants can be integrated with different loyalty programmes, and customers can redeem their points on the merchant’s POS terminals or e-commerce websites. The platform merges loyalty programmes into a single service layer. Merchants can connect to this secure payment platform using Magnati’s single API-driven integration and access the complete scope of built-in payment services. Magnati allows everyone from SMEs to large corporates to accept frictionless in-store, mobile and online payments and connect to different loyalty platforms.

7. Safe and secure

Magnati, as a PCIDSS certified entity, takes data security and data protection very seriously. All front-end card acceptance devices, data communications networks and messaging are encrypted with the latest data security standards. It also adopts, enhances and upgrades to new standards according to card schemes, local regulations, plus regional and global standards.

It’s no wonder that Magnati is shaping the future of payments in the region, and helping businesses harness new opportunities in the digital economy.

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