In a significant move towards internationalizing India’s digital payment ecosystem, PhonePe, one of India’s leading digital payment platforms, has announced its expansion into the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This expansion allows Indian tourists and expatriates in the UAE to make seamless payments using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) at Mashreq Bank’s Neopay merchant terminals.

According to a press release issued by PhonePe on Thursday, March 28, this development is facilitated through strategic partnerships with Mashreq and NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), enabling Neopay terminals across the UAE to accept UPI-based payments. This initiative marks a notable milestone in cross-border payment solutions, offering convenience and familiarity to millions of Indians visiting or residing in the UAE annually.

Ritesh Pai, CEO of International Payments at PhonePe, highlighted the significance of this partnership, stating, “UAE is a very popular destination, with millions of Indian visitors every year. With this partnership, customers can now conveniently transact through UPI, a payment method they are familiar with.”

Users with UAE mobile numbers can download the PhonePe app, link their non-resident external (NRE) and non-resident ordinary (NRO) accounts, and engage in transactions across various outlets in the UAE, including retail stores, restaurants, and tourist attractions. Payments at Neopay terminals are made by scanning a QR code, with the transaction amount debited in Indian rupees and the terminals displaying the current exchange rate.

Furthermore, PhonePe is set to introduce inward remittance services leveraging the UPI platform, aiming to streamline the process of money transfers to India.
Ritesh Pai, who assumed his role at PhonePe in January, brings a wealth of experience in global payment solutions from his previous tenure at TerraPay. Under his leadership, PhonePe is poised for international growth, building on its success in the Indian market, where it boasts over 520 million registered users and a vast acceptance network comprising 38 million merchants.

This initiative represents a leap towards globalizing India’s digital payments infrastructure, making international transactions as easy and familiar as domestic ones for Indian citizens abroad.

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