Visa has partnered with UAE-based digital account service NOW Money to grant low-income customers in the Gulf region access to a full service digital banking solution.

As part of the solution, customers will receive a Visa payment card, which can be used online or anywhere that accepts Visa, and a NOW Money account.

The aim is to ensure everyone, irrespective of their economic background, has access to financial services.

Katharine Budd, co-founder of NOW Money, said: “The Visa and NOW Money partnership takes our customers beyond convenient banking, into quality banking.

“As well as being the leading card scheme for our markets, Visa has a host of initiatives to offer account holders, including merchant offers. This is a monumental step forward on our mission to ensure no person is excluded from accessing the highest quality financial services.”

Through the NOW Money app, customers will have access to digital financial services, such as low-cost money transfer solutions and mobile top-ups.

According to Budd, this is a significant step towards making financial services accessible to the UAE population who are ineligible for traditional banking.

She added: “When a customer’s lifetime with NOW Money increases, so does their expectation of the service and it’s important we continue innovating to meet and exceed this. We’re delighted to be partnering with Visa to put an end to financial exclusion.”

Visa Fast Track Programme 

The announcement comes after NOW Money joined Visa’s global Fintech Fast Track programme earlier in the year. Visa’s programme aims to help fintechs scale more quickly using its payments network.

Shahebaz Khan, Visa General Manager for UAE, said:  “This partnership with NOW Money is consistent with Visa’s global strategy to collaborate with emerging fintech companies and innovative platform partners to drive financial inclusion and accelerate the growth of the digital economy.

“We have seen the impact the global pandemic has had in accelerating the demand for cashless solutions across all consumer segments – and especially in the eCommerce and tap to pay space.

“NOW Money was part of our Fintech Fast Track programme and it’s really encouraging to see how this programme enables partnerships like this that truly help bridge the gap that still exists in sectors of our society, and ensures secure and convenient digital payment options are available to everyone, everywhere.”