Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 November 2019

Indian Prime Minister Nadrena Modi uses RuPay card to purchase sweets at Emirates Palace

Indian PM is first person to use new card system in the UAE

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes use of the newly-launched RuPay card to buy sweets at Emirates Palace. Courtesy Indian Embassy
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes use of the newly-launched RuPay card to buy sweets at Emirates Palace. Courtesy Indian Embassy

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first person in the UAE to use the RuPay card payment system when he purchased a kilo of sweets.

He bought a box of motichoor ladoo vegetarian sweets from Abu Dhabi company Chhappan Bhog, from a stall at Emirates Palace on Saturday morning.

The Indian premier launched the RuPay scheme at the exclusive Abu Dhabi hotel following a meeting with members of the Indian business community in the UAE.

His purchase of the sweets was the very first transaction in the UAE using the RuPay system.

“Mr Modi told me he they were his favourite,” said Gaurav Verma, who is the CEO of parent company The Royal Orchard Group of Restaurants.

“He said he was going to take with him to Bahrain, his next destination, and share them with people there.”

RuPay, which gets its name from the amalgamation of ‘rupee’ and ‘payment’, was set up four years ago as an alternative to Mastercard and Visa in India.

Since then, it has been subscribed to by 500 million people, with more than half of India’s credit and debit cards going through the RuPay system.

The new card will work at more than 100,000 terminals in the UAE, Navdeep Suri, Indian ambassador to the UAE,revealed in a speech.

“We have assurance from Network International that RuPay Card will become accessible and available throughout the country from more than 100,000 terminals with immediate effect,” Mr Suri said.

“We also have representatives of First Abu Dhabi Bank, Emirates NBD and Bank of Baroda.

“All three of these banks have said they will start issuing RuPay cards in the UAE for people living here.”

While it is little known outside India, the system has proven to be such a success that it has also been adopted in countries including Singapore and Bhutan.

“RuPay is the first-of-its-kind India’s domestic debit and credit card payment network, with wide acceptance at ATMs, point of sale devices and e-commerce websites across India,” said a spokesman for the Indian embassy.

“The network has been developed to offer secure, user friendly and cost effective solutions to facilitate low value payments and build a cashless transaction environment.”

The UAE receives close to three million Indian tourists, each year, who will now be able to use their RuPay cards across the emirates.

State news agency reported how 5,000 ATMs in the UAE would be compatible with the RuPay system.

No official start date has been announced yet.

Updated: August 25, 2019 10:01 AM

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