Stock – Al Ansari IPO / Rasheed Al Ansari
The company behind biggest currency exchange house in the UAE, Al Ansari Financial Services, is doubling down on digital payment channels. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Al Ansari Financial Services – which operates the UAE’s biggest remittance network – has won regulator approval to launch a ‘digital wallet’ service. The company, listed on DFM, has been making a determined push into digital services when it comes to financial transactions, and the digital wallet launch fits in with that.

The launch, scheduled for Q2-2024, is targeted at extending financial services to the ‘unbanked’.

This follows Al Ansari Digital Pay, a subsidiary, receiving initial approval for a ‘Store Value Facilities’ and ‘Retail Payment Service Provider’ license from the UAE Central Bank.

As the name suggests, digital wallets are an online storage for funds and which can be used to make payments. Since Covid, the payments market in the UAE and the Gulf have taken to digital payment methods in lieu of cash. Their usage has largely been the domain of digital 'natives' and those who are well aware of the cross-connection between financial services and technology. But all this is directly connected to the user's bank account.

Now, Al Ansari wants to expand the scope of digital payments to the country's unbanked too. The company's customer base exceeds 4 million. 

"Al Ansari Digital Pay is a game-changer and embodies our vision to create a fintech platform that complements our position as a leading digital services provider," said Rashed A. Al Ansari, Group CEO of Al Ansari Financial Services.

What can the Al Ansari wallet do?

The peer-to-peer (P2P) transfer platform will allow users to receive salary, remit money domestically and abroad, settle bills, and access digitally enabled services using a personal QR code, a dedicated app, or their phone number. "This advancement brings the Al Ansari Financial Services Group one step closer to creating an optimised and diversified digital one-stop-shop marketplace," said a statement.

Plus, the digital wallet will provide users with the 'tools to make prudent financial decisions'. 

"The digital wallet will offer micro-financing options through strategic partnerships with licensed financial institutions, contributing to financial empowerment and inclusion," the statement said.