Mubadala-backed Tabby teams up with Visa to introduce tap-and-pay BNPL card

Customers can use the card in stores to split purchases into four interest-free payments

Tabby has more than 1.5 million active shoppers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Photo: Tabby
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Dubai-based buy now, pay later (BNPL) provider Tabby has teamed up with digital payments company Visa and payments infrastructure FinTech M2P to unveil the Tabby Visa Card.

The card will make in-store payments easier for customers as digital transactions continue to grow in popularity after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Despite e-commerce growing in popularity, almost 90 per cent of retail shopping in the Middle East still happens offline,” said chief operating officer and co-founder Daniil Barkalov said on Tuesday.

“The Tabby Card will take our in-store solution to new heights, creating a seamless omnichannel experience for customers to pay over time, interest-free.”

The BNPL business model, which allows consumers to make online purchases instantly and spread out their interest-free repayments, has surged since the onset of the pandemic.

The industry is expected to grow by 10 to 15 times by 2025 worldwide, topping $1 trillion in annual gross merchandise volume by some estimates, according to a report by New York data research consultancy CB Insights.

The Tabby Card is currently being offered on an invite-only basis in the UAE. Shoppers can join the waiting list for early access, Tabby said.

“The Tabby Visa Card allows cardholders to evenly distribute the cost of goods at participating merchants, thereby reducing the burden on their budget,” said Shahebaz Khan, Visa’s general manager for the UAE, Bahrain and Oman. “For merchants, this will mean increased sales and better conversion rates.”

The company plans to offer the card in other markets soon.

Tabby’s platform went live in February 2020 and the company has since signed agreements with more than 3,000 global brands and small businesses, including Adidas, Ikea, Bloomingdale’s, Marks & Spencer, Home Centre and Toys R Us.

With more than 1.5 million active shoppers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Tabby’s app allows shoppers to split their purchases into four interest-free payments.

The BNPL provider raised $54 million from Sequoia Capital India and Saudi Arabia’s STV in March this year.

Existing investors Mubadala Investment Capital, Arbor Ventures and Global Founders Capital also participated in the funding round, Tabby said at the time.

Separately, regional FinTech company Kamel Pay joined hands with Mastercard to introduce two prepaid cards and a digital app to meet the needs of businesses and underbanked individuals.

The PayD card is compliant with the UAE’s Wage Protection Scheme and is aimed at the unbanked labour force, providing them with financial services to meet their everyday payment needs, the two companies said on Tuesday.

The card will allow cardholders to use either their card or digital app to purchase goods offline or online from various merchants, as well as pay utility bills and remit money.

This will enable the “much-required financial inclusion for the UAE’s underbanked population”, Kamel Pay chairman Hussain Al Qemzi said.

Meanwhile, the Centiv Card is a tool for companies to replace cash reimbursements and make low-value payments. The card can be used to pay for government services, utility bills, manage employee expenses and eliminate the handling of cash within the organisation, Kamel Pay and Mastercard said.

The prepaid cards and app will serve consumers and small businesses who have previously been excluded from the formal financial system and empower them with the tools and services to enhance and protect their financial well-being, JK Khalil, Mastercard's Mena East general manager.

Updated: May 10, 2022, 10:38 AM