Ramana Kumar, SVP & Head of Payments, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)
From shopping to remittances and account transfers to bill payments, FAB's payit is a 24/7 one-stop solution
A digital and cashless society is closer than we think. Payit is the UAE's first fully-featured digital wallet that enables consumers to make cashless transactions. Launched in March 2018, Payit is available for all UAE residents with a valid emirates ID, irrespective of the bank they are with or even if they are unbanked. Upon its launch Payit was the UAE's first QR-based payment system and has now added the region's first sound-based payment feature, which offers customers a frictionless and contactless experience. Additionally, with payit users can send and receive money instantly 24/7, make payments through merchant partner apps and websites, pay utility bills, split bills with friends and even track their spending by category. Payit accounts can be topped up via any UAE-issued debit and prepaid cards, most FAB Cash Deposit Machines, as well as transfers from any UAE bank account.
In an interview with Khaleej Times, Ramana Kumar, Head of Payments at FAB, said "The UAE's first feature-packed digital wallet will revolutionise the concept of seamless shopping and checkout experience. The biggest friction in shopping today is the time customers spend queueing up to make payments. There is need for a solution that enhances the customers' shopping experience. The ecosystem that we are creating between consumer and merchant focusses on driving true value through instant payments and checkouts motivated by seamless and frictionless transactions.
Kumar said that Payit is a lifecycle product for customer. The customers can use Payit for person-to-person payments, bill payments, money transfers, splitting the bills, in addition to exclusive "Payit offers" from several merchants. Since it does not require minimum balance and there are no associated fees, Payit has all the features of a bank account and much more. "It's a genuine wallet that sits on your smartphone and is completely safe and easy to use. The technology behind Payit is secure and innovative."
In a testament to the ease and the seamless experience Payit provides, the registration process is equally simple - download the app, scan your Emirates ID and you're a Payit user in under two minutes. Payit differs from existing digital wallets in market, thanks to the network we have created, which significantly reduces the cost of acquisition and the settlement time for the merchant. This real-time transaction between consumer and merchant, allows merchants to receive instant settlements to their accounts. This combination of real-time settlements and reduced costs, enables the merchant to offer incentives back to the customer and drive a sense of trust and loyalty.
Kumar said that Payit has partnered with a host of retailers across the UAE in order to drive acceptance. Customers can now use Payit at several merchants across the UAE and make secure payments using their mobile phones by using the "Listen & Pay" feature. The sound files have robust data security, with multi-level encryption to make transactions secure. All payments are channelled through multi-layered encryption and decentralised ledgers technology, making them highly safe.
Furthermore, Payit creates value for merchants through offering economical, real-time settlements, with no requisite investment in new hardware. Sound-based payments can be made through electronic cash registers, point of sales (POS) machines, POD devices or even the mobile phones of merchants. It also provides integrated solutions by enabling real-time reporting, settlements, refund capabilities, transaction level mapping and reconciliation. Additionally, Payit enables merchants to market their services and offers to ensure optimized reach to customers.
There are benefits for all segments - consider seamless checkouts, enhanced shopping experience, near real-time transfers and remittances and it's evident that Payit is a great tool to drive financial inclusion. Payit has also partnered with several SMEs to drive the electronic payments through QR codes.
"Our objective is to drive a cashless society where next time you pay cash to other person or a merchant, you would rather ask them to download and use Payit. We are witnessing the UAE embark on a digital trajectory to create a cashless economy and we are proud to be part of that journey," added Kumar.