Network International to boost acceptance of African mobile wallets in UAE

The Dubai company has partnered with Amsterdam-based TerraPay to increase transactions

Consumer spending through digital wallets will reach more than $10tn in 2025, up from $5.5tn last year. Getty
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Dubai’s Network International, one of the top payment processing companies in the Middle East and Africa, signed a deal with Amsterdam-based TerraPay Payment Services to boost the acceptance of African mobile wallets across merchants in the UAE.

The agreement covers the processing of African mobile wallet ecosystem transactions at Network International's terminals in the UAE as well as at e-commerce platforms that use TerraPay’s payment processing systems, the two companies said in a joint statement.

“This paves the way to foster financial inclusion and independence for customers by offering real-time mobile wallet payments for the very first time in the UAE,” Ani Sane, co-founder and chief business officer of TerraPay, said.

“Opening up inter-operability for mobile wallets is the next big wave in digital payments across the world,” he added.

TerraPay, which builds payments infrastructure globally, also provided a business-to-business real time cross border payments service for mobile wallets and bank accounts, as well as transaction processing, clearing and settlement services.

Some of the company’s key markets include the GCC, North, South and Central Africa, Europe, South-east Asia and the Central, North and South American markets.

Consumer spending through digital wallets will reach more than $10 trillion globally in 2025, up from $5.5tn last year, according to industry estimates.

The growth of more than 80 per cent over the five-year period will be fuelled by the increased adoption of digital payments in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Contactless and e-commerce payments will account for 50 per cent of total digital wallet spending in the next five years, from just under 36 per cent recorded in 2020, according to UK-based Juniper Research.

Nandan Mer, group chief executive of Network International, said the partnership with TerraPay will not only enable acceptance of mobile wallets across its UAE merchant network, but also "help us build a digitally-connected payments ecosystem in the region, starting with the UAE”.

“TerraPay’s unique technology platform, with inter-operability at its core, backed by our strong merchant network, is expected to facilitate easy and quick adoption of mobile wallets across the region,” Mr Mer added.

Network International, which is expanding its footprint across the Mena region, on Wednesday announced it returned to profit during the first half of 2021.

Higher revenue boosted income, amid continued recovery of the global economy from the pandemic-driven slowdown.

The company's net profit for the six-month period ended June 30 stood at $15 million, compared with a loss of $936,000 during the same period last year.

Updated: August 19, 2021, 9:28 AM