Mobile payment service PayBy ties up with uPay to extend its reach

Users can top up their digital wallets on uPay’s self-service kiosks in the UAE

Users of mobile payment provider PayBy can now access its services at 850 uPay self-serve kiosks across the UAE. Courtesy PayBy
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Abu Dhabi-based FinTech PayBy is partnering with uPay to expand its reach to more than 850 uPay self-serve kiosks across the UAE as it looks to improve financial inclusion.

With PayBy integrated into uPay systems, users can top up their digital wallets on the kiosk machines and use PayBy for e-commerce transactions, cashless payments and peer-to-peer transfers, the company said on Thursday.

The two companies said they are finalising ways for customers to use their PayBy wallets for services such as recharging Salik, payments on the App Store, and topping up mobile cards.­­ PayBy is also in talks to expand its offerings to include government smart services.

FinTech platforms are increasingly developing solutions for the underbanked segment in the UAE - a sector that has largely remained untapped by the conventional lenders.

Around 39 per cent of UAE adults do not have a bank account, while 15 per cent of these lack access to any formal financial services, according to a survey by the Central Bank of the UAE released in June this year. However, more than 92 per cent of people in the UAE use smartphones, presenting a substantial opportunity for FinTech companies focusing on mobile payments, according to YouGov.

PayBy’s AI-powered verification process enables quick and easy user authorisation. Integrated in instant messaging platforms such as Botim and ToTok, the service is also available to a large subscriber base.

PayBy can currently be used for payments at different merchants, to pay for deliveries on arrival, order goods and services online, transfer and receive money instantly, and share cash gifts.

uPay’s kiosks, meanwhile, can be used to pay utility bills, top up mobile cards, purchase transport cards, make money transfers, e-commerce purchases and more.

The FinTech industry in the Mena is set to attract $2.5 billion by 2022 as the digitally-savvy population drives demand for FinTech solutions, according to a study by Mena Research Partners.

Another study by Accenture and Dubai accelerator FinTech Hive showed that the sector in the Middle East and Africa is expected to make up 8 per cent of the total revenue from financial services by 2022.