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Al Etihad Payments & NPCI to launch UAE’s domestic payment card Scheme

By Delisha Fernandes

October 10, 2023

  • Al Etihad Payments
  • Domestic Card Scheme
  • e Central Bank of the UAE
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Al Etihad Payments, NPCI International, e Central Bank of the UAE, Domestic Card Scheme, financial institutions, merchants, fraud monitoring, FinTech news, government news, finance news, FinTech UAE, FinTech IndiaAl Etihad Payments (AEP), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), and NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), have announced a strategic partnership to advance the development of the UAE’s first national Domestic Card Scheme (DCS).

The agreement was exchanged between Saif Humaid Al Dhaheri, Assistant Governor –Strategy, Financial Infrastructure and Digital Transformation at CBUAE and Chairman of AEP, and Dilip Asbe, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NPCI, representing NPCI International Payments Limited.

Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of CBUAE, said, “The FIT programme, as well as the signing of this agreement, underscores CBUAE’s commitment to accelerating the digital transformation of the financial sector and bolstering digital payments, in line with the ambitions of the UAE’s leadership. The development of the DCS is an integral FIT initiative and an achievement in the payments space which seeks to support the growth of digital transactions and e-commerce whilst
ensuring business continuity.”

Scheduled to launch in early 2024, the DCS will aim to facilitate the growth of e-commerce
and digital transactions in the UAE, bolster financial inclusion, support the nation’s digitisation
agenda, increase alternative payment options, reduce the cost of payments, and enhance the
UAE’s competitiveness and position as a global digital payments leader.

Ritesh Shukla, CEO of NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), said, “We are pleased
to announce our collaboration with the Central Bank of the UAE and Al Etihad Payments.
Together, we will work on building, implementing, and operationalising the UAE’s National
Domestic Card Scheme. This partnership aligns perfectly with NIPL’s global mission to offer
our knowledge and expertise to assist other countries in establishing their own cost effective and secure payment services.”

NIPL was commissioned for this initiative following a comprehensive selection process that
gauged the capacity of its solution in meeting the needs of consumers and merchants, in
addition to its ability to build an integrated financial infrastructure. NIPL will operate the DCS
and provide fraud monitoring and data analysis support.

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