The Careem app now connects directly with LuLu Exchange, one of UAE’s largest licensed remittance providers. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Careem has partnered with Lulu Exchange to launch international remittances on Careem Pay, it said on Wednesday.

In the first phase, customers can transfer money from the UAE to Pakistan in minutes at competitive rates through the ‘Send Abroad’ tile on Careem app. Funds are sent directly to a recipients’ foreign bank account whether they are Careem or non-Careem customers. The process is fully digital with electronic KYC completed in seconds. Transfers exceeding Dh400 are free of charge.

“Building on our digital wallet, P2P transfer and bill payments services, international remittance is a natural progression in Careem Pay’s mission to empower people by simplifying their payment experiences and access to financial services,” said Madiha Sattar, VP of Careem Pay. “Our international remittance service was launched with Careem’s Captains in mind, all of whom are familiar with the Careem platform and many of whom support dependents in Pakistan. Our goal is to provide the simplest, most user-friendly experience in the market.”

Over a million and a half Pakistanis live in the UAE, including thousands of hard working Careem Captains. We are excited to really simplify and improve their experience when sending money home to support their families.

- Mudassir Sheikha, CEO and Co-founder of Careem

Careem plans to expand the service to include transfer to the Philippines, Egypt, and India in the coming months.

Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director of LuLu Financial Group, said, “Being a trusted name in cross-border payments, we are happy to integrate our fully compliant remittance-as-a-service platform with Careem Pay and contribute towards the rapid adoption of digital payments among the people of UAE.”

Careem Pay combines front-end user experience with money transfer technology to connect customers with remittance services provided by licensed providers such as Lulu Exchange. In 2022, Careem acquired Denarii, a Dubai-based money transfer platform which integrates fintechs and financial institutions with global remittance aggregators, banks, exchanges, and wallets.

Lulu Exchange has developed an API-first model using the Digit 9 platform to provide remittance-as-a-service to its partners. Digit 9 is a SaaS provider, enabling financial institutions to offer their services to other financial institutions and fintechs.

The UAE is the second largest source of remittance globally, with nearly $50 billion sent abroad in 2021. Over 1.7 million Pakistani expats live and work in the UAE and the country has become one of the largest sources of remittance to Pakistan, with $452.5 million transferred to Pakistan in November 2022 alone.