Visa has partnered with UAE-based NOW Money to bring digital banking services to low-income customers in the Gulf Region who are unable to access traditional banking services such as cross-border money transfers.
Under the agreement, NOW Money will provide customers with contactless-enabled Visa payment cards that can be used both online and at payment terminals throughout the world. The cards will be linked to a NOW Money account, which requires no minimum balance. Through the NOW Money app, customers will have access to such banking services as low-cost money transfers.
Currently, about 80 percent of the UAE’s population is ineligible for traditional banking services due to low income. As a result, they are forced to rely on prepaid payroll cards for payment, which can only be used to withdraw cash from ATMs, making it difficult to transfer money to other countries. The new Visa payment cards will help to ease cross-border payments, particularly remittances sent by foreign workers to their families abroad.
Global cross-border payments are expected to hit $39 trillion by 2022, including $572 million in remittance payments, creating demand for a new generation of platforms to service customers like those in the UAE.
The NOW Money partnership also aims to provide “a frictionless personal finance experience through Visa offers and products.”
As millions worldwide embrace digital banking amid the ongoing global pandemic, industry experts have pointed out that financial institutions need to make the online experience as frictionless as possible to build customer trust and loyalty.
“This partnership with NOW Money is consistent with Visa’s global strategy to collaborate with emerging FinTech companies and innovative platform partners to drive financial inclusion and accelerate the growth of the digital economy. We have seen the impact the global pandemic has had in accelerating the demand for cashless solutions across all consumer segments – and especially in the eCommerce and tap-to-pay space,” said Shahebaz Khan, Visa’s general manager for UAE.
“NOW Money was part of our Fintech Fast Track program, and it’s really encouraging to see how this program enables partnerships like this that truly help bridge the gap that still exists in sectors of our society, and ensures [that] secure and convenient digital payment options are available to everyone, everywhere,” Khan added.