Dubai initiates Unified Payment Network to promote cashless economy

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Cashless payment
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Dubai Economy has launched Unified Payment Network (UPN) to ease cashless transactions following the emirate’s goal to become one of the world’s top 10 cashless economies.

With UPN, Dubai Economy aims to bring together all payment service providers and unbanked as well as underbanked merchants, to a single platform. It is a subsidiary of the authority’s flagship EngageDXB, an initiative that boosts engagement between public and private sectors and to boost the transition towards a cashless society.

The platform will enhance the current service offerings for all local e-wallet and payment service providers. The free to join network will encourage merchant adoption and provides an end-to-end digital payment acceptance solution, capable of processing any digital payment like micropayments from cards to wallet, locally or internationally issued.

Sami Al Qamzi
Sami Al Qamzi
Director General
Dubai Economy

“UPN will enable and accelerate the digital and cashless initiatives aimed to enhance the competitiveness of Dubai and UAE in the digital transformation race globally. It will help achieve the secure and seamless transition of Dubai towards a cashless society in line with the vision of the government and the strategic plans of the Cashless Dubai Working Group constituted recently.”

The platform will further help to achieve the secure and effortless transition of Dubai towards a cashless society in line with the vision of the country and the strategic plans of the recently-formed Cashless Dubai Working Group.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 cashless transactions have surged massively across the world. Globally, digital payments are set to expand up to $8.6 trillion in 2024, from $4.4 trillion this year, according to Statista. The UAE is leading the adoption of digital payments in the Arab world.

According to the management consulting firm, McKinsey’s survey, UAE consumers are 10 percent more likely to use a credit card or a digital wallet, with 20 percent saying they are less likely to use cash when making a payment.

The UPN Digital Settlement Account will allow merchants to receive all types of payments through one digital account which supports their business at zero adoption cost.

The platform is also hosting services by local and international payment cards, Wallet Payment service providers, payment acquirers, banks, exchange as well as remittance house.

“UPN will further reduce the time, efforts and the investment to market and promote new payment products and services. This platform will encourage payment service providers to focus on their offerings and to onboard more users, without investing further on the traditional acceptance network,” Mohammed Shael Al Saadi, chief executive of the corporate strategic affairs sector at Dubai Economy, said.

With UPN, Dubai Economy seeks to increase the financial inclusion rate in the UAE and to contribute towards the goal of the country to be one among the top cashless economies in the world.