Video: Modi launches India's RuPay card in UAE
Dubai - Three banks in the UAE will start issuing the card by next week.
Twelve major businesses outlets in the UAE will start accepting the RuPay card starting next week, Indian ambassador to the UAE, Navdeep Sing Suri announced during the official launch in Abu Dhabi on Saturday morning.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the first purchase by swiping the RuPay card at a mock Chhappan Bhog Abu Dhabi outlet set up during the launch at the Emirates Palace.
"He bought one kilo of Muthichoor Laddoo by using the card," Vinay Verma, Owner and Managing Director of Chhappan Bhog told Khaleej Times.
"It is great pleasure and honour for us to be part of this ambitious launch.
He is going to take it (the laddoo) to Bahrain as a Prasad for the temple. He said he is very keen that we use the RuPay card," said Verma.
RuPAy card is the Indian equivalent of the Master Card and Visa Card that will can be used at point-of-sale terminals across the UAE.
Suri said three banks in the UAE - Emirates NBD, Bank of Baroda and FAB - will start issuing the card by next week.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a technology interface between the payment platforms in the UAE and India was exchanged between Mercury Payments Services and National Payments Corporation of India.
Simon Haslam, group chairman, on behalf of Mercury Payments Services and Arif Khan Pyarebhai, chief digital officer on behalf of National Payments Corporation of India exchanged the MoU on RuPay Card in presence of the Indian Prime Minister.
RuPay Cards will now be acceptable at 175,000 merchant acceptance locations and 5,000 ATM and cash access locations within the UAE, said a press statement from Indian embassy.
The UAE received close to three million Indian tourists annually. Acceptance of Rupay card in the UAE will lower the charges as tourists will save on exchange rate.
21 businesses embrace RuPay
About 21 business groups from the UAE were present during the launch event and pledged to accept RuPay as a mode of payment. The business community said the initiative will go a long way in bringing India and UAE businesses together.
What is RuPay?
RuPay is the first-of-its-kind India's domestic Debit and Credit Card payment network, with wide acceptance at ATMs, point of sale 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.
National Payments Corporation of India, 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 and two million ATM and cash access locations, across 190 countries and is constantly growing.
Here's how the UAE-based business community has reacted:
Yusuff Ali MA, Chairman & Managing Director, Lulu Group International said:
"Introduction of RuPay is surely going to be a great initiative for the millions of travelers and tourists and also NRIs who own these cards. I think the key aspects would be the convenience and ease of usage that RuPay will bring to the user. The huge numbers of RuPay card holders is great potential for businesses here and all our 174 Lulu Hypermarkets, shopping malls and exchanges across the region are fully equipped to accept RuPay cards."
Dr Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare, said:
"It is our privilege to accept the RuPay card for all payments in our 351 establishments comprising of Aster, Medcare and Access brand of hospitals, clinics and pharmacies in six GCC countries. We already accept RuPay in our Indian Hospitals," Dr Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare, said.
Promoth Manghat, Group Chief Executive Officer at Finablr said:
"RuPay complements the rapidly growing digital payments landscape in India and is a strong tool that supports the country's financial empowerment agenda. The launch of the RuPay card scheme in the UAE during PM Narendra Modi's state visit speaks volumes of the commitment of the Indian Government towards this initiative."
"With the largest population of NRIs and as a popular destination for Indian tourists, the UAE is a naturally relevant market for RuPay as it expands its international presence, enhancing the mobility of globe-trotting Indians while providing a host of benefits to the NRI community in the UAE."
Adeeb Ahamed, MD, LuLu Financial Group said:
"Low transaction processing fee makes RuPay more economically feasible for banks, merchants as well as consumers, and can be easily leveraged by business to reach out to a larger segment of the society. Furthermore, RuPay can lend itself to socio-economic initiatives for financial inclusion, as it has done in India with government sanctioned projects and payment schemes for transport.
"RuPay has been gaining traction since it was first introduced in India in 2012, giving competition to other card networks internationally. The card is widely accepted at all major banks, their ATM networks as well as a large number of stores as well.
"Indian tourists, who are one of the largest numbers to come to UAE will be able to utilise the RuPay cards here as well, as more strategic partnerships will make it more viable. We believe that through the building of a larger ecosystem, RuPay can position itself as a reliable, premium brand in the payment cards space."
With inputs from Ashwani Kumar