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Financial services, Technology

UAE bank first globally to offer contactless, QR payments

Mashreq Bank and Mastercard has partnered to launch Masterpass QR, a safe and secure Quick Response (QR) mobile payments solution, accessible via the bank’s mobile application, Snapp.

With the launch, Mashreq Bank will become the first bank in the world to offer users the choice to make secure contactless and Masterpass QR payments using the same mobile banking app.

The user-initiated mobile payment solution is a cost-effective alternative to cash payments for consumers and retailers alike, and will further drive the shift towards a cashless society within the UAE.

Mashreq customers will now be able to link any of Mashreq credit or debit cards to the Masterpass QR feature in their Snapp app without the need to transfer funds to any other stored value account. Customers simply need to scan the QR code displayed at a merchant’s checkout via their mobile banking app and confirm the payment on their smartphone.

The partnership marks the launch of the UAE’s first QR code payment solution compliant with EMVCo QR standards that will make the solution interoperable with other Masterpass QR users globally. In subsequent phases, this feature will enable international visitors to pay with Masterpass QR at Mashreq Bank merchants, while allowing Mashreq Bank customers to make QR-based payments when traveling abroad, which means that they no longer need to carry cash or their physical bank cards to make payments while traveling. Similarly, other UAE banks adopting Masterpass QR will also be interoperable with this solution.

Al-Ramli, senior vice president, head of digital banking and innovation at Mashreq Bank, said, “As the UAE continues to transform into a smart nation, Mashreq leads the way in launching smart and innovative financial solutions that make everyday payment experiences for consumers simpler and faster. The Masterpass QR code service offers our customers the ability to pay instantly via their banking app, putting the power of the transaction directly in the customer’s hand. With the country’s digital wallets sector growing rapidly each year, we are confident that consumers will embrace the range of cashless options increasingly available to them.”

Pankaj Kundra, head of payments at Mashreq Bank, said, “The future is cashless in the UAE, and Mashreq continues to diversify its range of digital payment solutions to build an ecosystem for the same. The QR code technology-based payment solution is our recent addition to our impressive product portfolio. This technology is universal in nature and has the added advantage of providing smaller retailers with a cost-effective digital payment option that offers real benefits over cash transactions. We are pleased to be the first acquirer of Masterpass QR in the UAE and aim to expand it across our merchant segments to help accelerate the growth of the digital payments ecosystem in the UAE.”

Mashreq and Mastercard have currently partnered with a number of selected merchants in the UAE to allow consumers to pay using their Snapp’s Masterpass QR feature. The bank aims to roll out the service to a larger segment of merchants and offer instant rewards to its customers in the future. Mashreq Bank customers can download Snapp from Google Play and App Store.

Girish Nanda, General Manager, UAE and Oman, Mastercard, said, “Our partnership with Mashreq Bank to launch Masterpass QR in the UAE represents a major leap in our efforts to offer greater choice in retail payments and expedite the country’s transition towards a cashless economy. The innovative QR code payment solution provides increased convenience and safety to consumers when making payments, whereas it offers a broad range of merchants, including supermarkets, coffee shops, and quick service restaurant, a fast, secure and inexpensive way to accept payments. The low cost and easy-to-deploy technology will also bring new payment experiences to home deliveries in the UAE, where the e-commerce industry is expanding rapidly to hit a growth projection of $10 billion by 2018[1] and nearly one-third of consumers use restaurant or meal delivery services. Mastercard remains committed to innovating technology to introduce solutions that bring the benefits of digital payments to even more banks, merchants, and consumers.”

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