Global payments technology company, Visa (NYSE:V), and Al Hilal Bank today announced a partnership to accelerate the adoption of contactless payments in the country and facilitate payments innovation in the UAE with the launch of three Visa payWave-enabled premium debit cards.
Kicking off the initiative, Al Hilal Bank launched three brand new Visa payWave-enabled premium debits cards: Al Hilal Visa Infinite, Al Hilal Visa Signature, and Al Hilal Visa Platinum. With the new “tap and go” option, the Visa payWave-enabled cards not only save time and cost upon use, but also provide cardholders the enhanced security advantages of contactless payments. These security advantages include protecting customers against fraudulent transactions with data encryption upon sending sensitive information, decreasing the chance of card loss and typing errors, and allowing customers to make payments without giving retailers access to their card information.
In addition to Visa payWave technology, the three new cards enjoy Visa’s premium rewards platform which offers a range of travel, retail and lifestyle privileges, including unlimited access to over 850 airport lounges worldwide, discounts with leading hotel chains like Jumeirah Group and Hilton and access to Visa Luxury Hotel Collection, global concierge services, golf facilities and F&B deals at hundreds of merchants across the UAE.
Commenting on the partnership, Selim Ibrahim Ergoz, General Manager, UAE, Qatar & Pakistan, Visa said: “Increasing the adoption of contactless payments is a key focus for Visa here in the UAE, and we are pleased to partner with Al Hilal Bank to power its range of premium debit and mass credit cards with Visa’s payWave technology. In addition to reaping the extensive rewards from the Visa loyalty program, cardholders will be able to enjoy a seamless and hassle-free contactless payments experience, a trend that has gained recognition in the UAE over the past year owing to the rapid rise of digital wallets. We look forward to working with the bank on furthering such initiatives, experimenting with mobile proximity payment solutions, and enabling customers with the latest in payments innovation.”
By encouraging cardholders to make contactless transactions, the partnership aims to increase the number of Visa payWave enabled devices in the country in the short-term, ultimately paving the way for mass adoption of digital wallets. Alex Coelho, CEO of Al Hilal Bank, commented: “At Al Hilal Bank, our customers’ best interest is our top priority. Partnering with Visa and being part of the launch of contactless payments in the UAE marks yet another milestone in our product portfolio, conveniently introducing our customers to the many advantages of contactless payment technologies.”
He added: “Strong partnerships empower strong offerings, and this vital collaboration with Visa results in highly secured, premium debit cards that are enabled with NFC and payWave technologies; increasing the efficiency of secure transactions across the UAE and offering several travel, leisure and lifestyle privileges as exclusive, added features,”.
As the UAE’s payments ecosystem evolves with new technologies, over 50% (POS) terminals in the country accept Visa payWave cards and integrate contactless transactions. The new partnership will reach out to a large group of residents who bank with Al Hilal bank, raising awareness among a significant portion of customers who have yet to make the switch to contactless cards, and will lend impetus to the everyday adoption of digital wallets across the country.