Madiha Sattar, Vice-President of Careem Pay
Madiha Sattar, Vice-President of Careem Pay said: “One in three people have this app in the UAE and that ensures a super-seamless experience.” Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Want to send money to family, friends or anyone else instantly? But don’t want to go through the hassle of sending through your bank account? Then, tap Careem to get it done.

The Careem Pay services has been passed up to allow peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers, bringing into play the app’s digital wallet services. The UAE becomes the first market where Careem, which started life as a ride-hailing app, has rolled out the P2P feature, having received the UAE Central Bank approval. (The add-on feature has been facilitated through Careem’s association with First Abu Dhabi Bank and the payments processor Magnati.)

Stock - Careem P2P
Careem expands its portfolio of app services with the digital wallet. And there could be more coming. Image Credit: Supplied

The plan is to introduce the feature in Saudi Arabia, where talks are on to get regulatory clearance. That process has been completed in Pakistan. “In all, we will introduce the digital wallet to five of the 13 markets we are in,” said Madiha Sattar, Vice-President of Careem Pay.

To receive the case, the recipient needs to have a Careem app downloaded on the smartphone. Even if the sender and receiver are abroad, payments can be made. (A one-time KYC detail has to entered.)

Recently, there have been standalone fintechs that have trialled P2P services, particularly for corporate or SME clients. According to Madiha, the ubiquity of Careem apps could make it the go-to one for such instant payments. "The features were developed in-house and the only third-party presence is on the vendor side, for instance, on the screening," she said.

"We believe there will be a lot of users who would prefer not to send these transfers through their bank accounts. There is the hassle of the need to register the (recipient’s) account and wait up to 24 hours for the transaction."

App to super-app

Careem has been adding to its portfolio of services through the app beyond the ride hailing. It now extends to 12 mini-services, including calling in food and grocery purchases, for customers in Dubai. This is all part of the transition to being a ‘super-app’, where the original service provided by the gets super-imposed by multiple others and serving the same use base.

The digital wallet can  be used to pay for goods and services on the app and 'soon be usable for goods and services beyond' it as well. Careem Pay will soon issue physical and virtual Careem cards that can be used at ATMs and at merchants, and introduce international remittance solutions for both customers and 'captains' (the Careem drivers).

P2P payments, in many ways, is more widely used by younger users. In the UAE, Careem reckons that a smooth experience would prompt an older demographic too will get into the act.

With a 30 per cent coverage of the UAE population, Careem’s P2P chances are off to a good start.

Sending cash via Careem
To send money with Careem Pay, customers can select a recipient from the contact list or use the recipient’s phone number.

There is no need to add the recipient’s IBAN or add them as a beneficiary. Customers can also request payments through the app or share their personal QR code or payment link to receive a payment.

To move money to a UAE bank account from the Careem wallet, Customers can simply tap the withdraw button in the app.