Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnesses
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnesses the launch of RuPay card in the UAE on August 24, 2019 at the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The RuPay card was officially launched in the UAE on August 24, 2019 at the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi in presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

UAE is the first country in the Gulf where Indian RuPay, the Indian response to Mastercard and Visa networks, has been launched. Around 175,000 merchant acceptance locations of 21 businesses and 5,000 ATMs in the UAE will soon start accepting India's RuPay card, it was announced on Saturday.

Following are the 21 business groups from the UAE present during the event and pledged to join the RuPay network:

  • NMC Healthcare
  • Lulu Group
  • Aster DM Healthcare
  • Landmark Group
  • Sobha Ltd
  • Apparel Group
  • Nikai Group
  • Regal Group of Companies
  • ITL Cosmos
  • Jashanmal National Company LLC,
  • Allana Group FMCG Products
  • Petrochem Middle East
  • Al Dobowi Group
  • VPS Healthcare
  • UPL Group,
  • Conares
  • Al Maya Group
  • EFS Facilities Services Group
  • Emaar & DP World
  • Transworld Group

UAE Banks to issue cards

Three prominent banks – Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Bank of Baroda - will soon start issuing RuPay card in the UAE, it was announced. Today, there are close to 500 million RuPay cards in circulation in India.

The pledge to include RuPay cards would mean the new payment system would mean greater competition in the global card payments system, while giving Indians more access to the global payments system. 

The business leaders present stated that the initiative will go a long way in bringing India and UAE businesses together.

Simon Haslam, Group Chairman, on behalf of Mercury Payments Services LLC and Arif Khan Pyarebhai, Chief Digital Officer on behalf of National Payments Corporation of India, exchanged an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on RuPay Card in presence of the Indin premier.

RuPay Modi
PM Narendra Modi witnesses official launch of RuPay in the Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital. Image Credit: Twitter

PM's first RuPay purchase: Indian sweets

PM Modi swiped his Rupay card for buying Indian sweets.

The business community welcomed this step and stated that the initiative will go a long way in bringing India and UAE businesses together.

3million

Indian tourists to the UAE annually

UAE receives close to 3 million Indian tourists annually.

Acceptance of Rupay card in UAE will lower the charges as tourists will save on exchange rate.

National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), in association with Mercury Payments Services - UAE’s Domestic Scheme has made RuPay Cards acceptable at 175,000 merchant acceptance locations and 5,000 ATM and cash access locations within UAE.

What is RuPay
RuPay is the first-of-its-kind India’s domestic Debit and Credit Card payment network, with wide acceptance at ATMs, POS devices and e-commerce websites across India.

It is a highly secure network that protects against cyber hacks and is India’s version of Master Card and Visa.

It has been developed to offer secure, user friendly and cost effective solutions to facilitate low value payments and build a cashless transaction environment. Today, there are close to 500 million RuPay cards in circulation in India.

RuPay has also tied-up with international players like Discover, Japan Credit Bureau and China Union Pay to enhance its international acceptance and recently achieved a milestone of issuing 25 million RuPay – Discover global cards.

NPCI, which manages the RuPay card network in the country issues RuPay Global cards that run on the Discover Network when used outside India.

The acceptance of RuPay Global cards with the partnership of Discover has reached over 44 million plus merchants & 2 million ATM and cash access locations, across 190 countries and is constantly growing.