Popular Payment Modes in the UAE

The UAE is adopting the digital mode of payment as the people’s most favorite choice. Several payment modes are prevalent today like those of plastic cards, mobile wallets, digital wallets, and so on. The entire payment landscape in the UAE is dominated by online payment modes. If you are a business owner from the b2b or b2c segment in the e-commerce industry, or any digital services provider, payment modes constitute a significant part of your journey towards attaining business goals. Let’s go through the insights into the varied payment modes adopted by the country and the significance of online payment and mobile payment modes.

Online Payment

The landscape of UAE’s online payment modes is fragmented. People like to pay via credit cards, debit cards,cash-on-delivery(COD), bank transfers as well as e-wallets, or digital wallets. Popular payment gateways like PayFort,HyperPAy, Telr,2Checkout are supporting these online payment modes in the UAE.

Factors that lead towards cashless online payments:

  1. The UAE’s Vision 2021 Strategy set by the government
  2. Launch of several government initiatives
  3. Development in the digital payments
  4. Robust infrastructure for digital payments
  5. High smartphones usage
  6. High penetration rates of internet
  7. Demography with digitally adept, young digital natives

Credit Cards & Debit Cards

70% of the UAE population uses credit cards and the second favorite mode of payment. What attracts them is the cashback offers benefits on leisure and entertainment, free air tickets, and so on. Whereas, debit cards are also the preferred mode of payment and carry less risk as it needs a highly secured 4-digit PIN. It is widely used for withdrawing cash from ATMs. Citibank Citi Cashback Credit Card, Emirati Visa Signature Debit Card, ADCB Traveller Credit Card, HSBC Platinum Select Credit Card are few notable cards in the UAE.

Charge Cards & Deferred Debit Cards

Charge Cards can be understood as electronic payment cards where the full payment of the charge needs to be done when each billing cycle ends. While for Credit Card payment interest is charged, for a Charge Card payment, there is no interest, and there is no carry-forward option for balances. Similarly, Deferred Debit cards also function the same way, but there is one difference. The value of card payments by the Deferred Debit card is deducted from the bank account of the user, at the end of the billing cycle. According to Worldpay, a payment processing company, these payment modes account for 5% of the UAE’s online payment landscape.


E-Wallet is an online payment mode that enables users to store funds on the Cloud. As a user, you can access your e-wallets on the web, applications on mobile phone, desktop, laptop, tablet, wearables. 19% of the UAE’s online payment is done via e-wallets. Some key players are Beam,Trriple, Etisalat, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay. WeChatPAy , Alipay are in their nascent stages of expansion.

Mobile Wallets

Mobile  Wallets or Digital Wallets carry digital currency, now very trending amongst people across the UAE. As a user, you can make your mobile your wallet.No no need to carry cash or any physical wallet for payment. A very easy mode of payment that requires less than a minute to conduct any transaction. Mobile wallets are highly secured and provide high cash-back facilities, too. Even Dubai Government has introduced mobile wallet payment mode emCAsh.The very emCAsh can be used as your digital currency as well as for Cryptocurrency.

There are payment rewards available under mobile wallets, and the more you use this mode of payment, the more reward points you avail of. Let’s see some popular mobile wallets existing in the UAE:

  1. Apple Pay- It is a mobile payment wallet that works with APPLE devices (iPhone,iPad) and APPLE watch. APPLE Pay was launched by the parent company APPLE Inc. The app is free to use. You can download this app from the App Store and install it on your iPhone or the said devices. The motto of APPLE Pay is  “Cashless Made Effortless”.
  2. Samsung Pay – You can use this payment wallet anywhere on your Samsung devices. It is free to use. Samsung Pay is compatible with card readers which depend on magnetic strips mostly used by retailers in the country.  This app can be used at places that accept debit/credit cards, MST, or NFC technologies.UAE banks like ADCB, NBAD, Dubai Islamic Bank, RAKBANK, Mashreq, etc. support Samsung Pay.
  3. Emirates Digital Wallet LLC & KLIP – Emirates Digital Wallet LLC powers and owns Klip. Known as the “UAE’s Digital Cash”, this app allows you to make an online payment anywhere.16 banks support this app-based wallet. You can access Klip directly from EDW and banks supporting the app. In some areas, you can access Klip even if you don’t have a bank account. You need to be a resident of the UAE and have a SIM card for using the app. You can download Klip from EDW or other supporting banks.

4. Beam Wallet– This mobile wallet you can use in more than 3,000 stores across the UAE. Even petrol stations, theatres, or cinemas accept Beam Wallet. The app is available in Android and iOS compatible devices. Free to download the app.

5. EmiratesNBD Pay– This digital wallet is Android compatible app and works with all NFC-compatible Android devices. Just link your Emirates NBD debit card or credit card to your mobile phone and use the app to pay wherever you go. It is free to download and use.

6. Etisalat Wallet- This app is also free to use and can be used in select stores across the UAE.Compatible with Android and iOS devices. There are various wallets like Apple Pay, PayPal, Google Pay, etc., these wallets are famous globally and can be used anywhere.

7. PAYBY- Introduced in 2020, this mobile wallet (launched by a fintech company bearing the same name(collaborated with Abu Dhabi bank allowing to make payment via mobile phones. You can money-transfer to your family or friends even while you are busy chatting, such a convenient app.You can transfer, receive money, can order your products online, can pay for home deliveries, or share as cash gifts.

8. GooglePay – GPay is a popularmode of payment that is downloadable in both the device types- Android and iOS.Easy and convenient to use.


Besides the aforementioned modes of payment, there is cash payment which is declining given the pandemic crisis where touchless mode is everyone’s preference. Direct carrier billing, an alternative payment model, is also there. Worth knowing is almost every payment mode or method involves some sort of transaction charges. Check with that and adopt the mode that gives you the most benefits with fewer charges and convenient to use in your country, the UAE.

If you wish to enhance the experience of your audience through modern financial transactions, you need smart and secure payment options – Check out with our experts which payment modes will be apt for your business