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Indian Travelers Can Now Use PhonePe for Payments in the UAE

Indian travelers heading to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have something new to cheer about, they can now use PhonePe to make payments at thousands of retail stores, restaurants, tourist locations, and entertainment zones across the Emirates.

Seamless UPI Payments

PhonePe has tied up with Mashreq Bank’s payment terminal network, NEOPAY to enable Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions for its customers. So if you have the PhonePe app installed, all you need to do is scan the QR code on the NEOPAY terminals to make payments. The amount gets deducted from your bank account in India, in Indian Rupees, with the equivalent currency conversion rate applicable.

This makes payments super seamless for the millions of Indians who travel to the UAE every year for tourism, business or to visit families and friends. UPI has become ubiquitous in India and rides on simple QR code-based transactions without the need to swipe cards or remember bank account details. PhonePe is taking this very convenience to another country where Indian tourists throng in huge numbers.

NRIs Can Also Use PhonePe in the UAE

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) having a UAE phone number can also download the PhonePe app and link their NRE/NRO accounts in India to it. This gives them the freedom to use the homegrown UPI platform for payments at NEOPAY-enabled stores across the Emirates.

So both Indian tourists as well as UAE-based NRIs can enjoy the benefits of UPI payments in the UAE thanks to this PhonePe-Mashreq partnership.

The Tech Powering Cross-Border UPI

But how exactly are the transactions going through? This has been made possible because of Mashreq’s tie-up with NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL). Mashreq has integrated its entire NEOPAY terminal network to accept UPI apps and enable those seamless QR code-based transactions.

So when an Indian tourist scans the QR code on the terminal, the request flows through the NPCI network internationally to debit the bank account back in India. This backend partnership has enabled the acceptance of India’s domestic payments innovation – UPI – in another country.

Inward Remittances Also Planned

In an innovative move, PhonePe also plans to later introduce inward remittance services on the UPI platform. This would eliminate the need for Indian bank account details or IFSC codes to receive money from the UAE. Users can just link their bank account to PhonePe and give the UPI ID to senders in the UAE.

This shows how multiple innovations are taking place around UPI to take it beyond India’s borders while retaining its convenience proposition.

Commitment to Cross-Border Payments Innovation

The coming together of PhonePe and Mashreq combines consumer-facing payments technology with a bank willing to enable innovation in the cross-border payments space.

Ritesh Pai, CEO International Payments at PhonePe expressed excitement at partnering with Mashreq, given UPI’s adoption among Indians. On the other hand, Vibhor Mundhada, CEO of NEOPAY at Mashreq, emphasized the importance of such partnerships in strengthening India-UAE’s financial and trade relations.

Anubhav Sharma, Deputy Chief of Partnership Business Development & Marketing at NIPL, also echoed the need for convenient and secure cross-border payment solutions for consumers worldwide.

The partnership seems to be a win-win – Indian travelers enjoy the familiarity of PhonePe UPI payments in the UAE, NRIs get domestic payments innovation at their disposal globally, and the two entities drive technology innovation in cross-border transactions.

With UAE being a top destination for Indian tourists and NRIs, the PhonePe-Mashreq partnership has come at an opportune time. UPI seems to be going places, literally, and this is just the start.

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