By: 16 October 2023
Al Etihad Payments taps NIPL for domestic card scheme

Al Etihad Payments, a subsidiary of the Central Bank of the UAE, has joined forces with NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) to introduce a domestic card scheme within the UAE. This initiative, set to debut in early 2024, is poised to stimulate the growth of e-commerce and digital transactions in the country. 

Under the Financial Infrastructure Transformation (FIT) programme, Al Etihad Payments is spearheading the development of an innovative, interoperable, and empowering payment infrastructure for financial institutions. This scheme is expected to enhance financial inclusion, align with the nation’s digitalisation goals, diversify payment options and reduce payment costs. 

The Central Bank of the UAE has entrusted NIPL, an India-based company, with operating the scheme, as well as providing essential fraud monitoring and data analysis support. 

Khaled Mohamed Balama, governor of the Central Bank, emphasised that the FIT programme and this partnership reflect the CBUAE’s dedication to expediting the digital transformation of the financial sector and reinforcing digital payments, aligning with the UAE’s leadership aspirations. 

Ritesh Shukla, chief executive officer of NIPL, said: “This partnership aligns 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.” 

Jan Pilbauer, chief executive office of Al Ethihad Payments, added: “We are enabling the UAE’s licensed financial institutions to offer consumers, merchants and all other stakeholders of the financial system a more robust payment infrastructure.” 

Image: NPCI 

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Josh Poyser
Josh Poyser is an editor at FinTech Intel. He has written about fintech for several years and appeared at FinTech Connect 2023 on the 'Unlocking Success: The Art of Fintech PR' panel.