Dubai – Monday 4 November, 2020 — Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, has partnered with NOW Money, the UAE-based digital account service, to grant low-income customers in the Gulf region access to a full service digital banking solution.
Customers will receive a Visa payment card, which can be used online or in any of Visa’s 61 million global acceptance locations, and a NOW Money account, which requires no minimum balance. The agreement will ensure every person – irrespective of their economic background – has access to the highest quality financial services.
Earlier this year, NOW Money joined Visa’s global Fintech Fast Track program which speeds up the ability for fintech partners to build and deliver new commerce experiences on Visa’s payments network.
Existing NOW Money customers will be issued with contactless-enabled Visa payment cards that can be used at contactless payment terminals across 200 countries and territories worldwide. NOW Money customers will also have access to digital financial services in the NOW Money app, such as low-cost money transfer solutions and mobile top-ups.
According to NOW Money’s cofounder, Katharine Budd, this is a significant step towards making financial services accessible to the 80% of the UAE population who are ineligible for traditional banking* and demonstrates how the Gulf’s digital economy has moved into an advanced phase.
“The Visa and NOW Money partnership takes our customers beyond convenient banking, into quality banking. As well as being the leading card scheme for our markets, Visa has a host of initiatives to offer account holders, including merchant offers. This is a monumental step forward on our mission to ensure no person is excluded from accessing the highest quality financial services,” said Budd.
Budd continues, “When a customer’s lifetime with NOW Money increases, so does their expectation of the service and it’s important we continue innovating to meet and exceed this. We’re delighted to be partnering with Visa to put an end to financial exclusion.”
The partnership between NOW Money and Visa will strengthen the positive experience customers’ associate with convenient, non-cash-based payments, and will provide a frictionless personal finance experience through Visa offers and products.
Ian Dillon, co-founder of NOW Money, said: “Financial inclusion is only possible if traditional players and innovative start-ups work together. This is a vital partnership with a global payments player that supports our mission, particularly as millions of low-income people continue to face challenges of working and living in a digital society.”
Shahebaz Khan, Visa General Manager for UAE said “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. 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 secure and convenient digital payment options are available to everyone, everywhere.”
*80% of the UAE population earn under AED 5,000 per month, making them ineligible for traditional banking. Many workers are paid on prepaid payroll cards, which they can only use to withdraw cash from an ATM, making it difficult to send funds from one country to another.
*Note to editors*
About NOW Money
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, Visa Middle East Blog and @VisaMiddleEast.