In a strategic move to build upon its longstanding partnership with Tencent Holdings Limited, the official developer of WeChat, Network International (Network) – the frontrunner in enabling digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) – has introduced WeChat Pay acceptance on its point-of-sale (POS) terminals throughout the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
This development offers Chinese visitors a seamless, secure, and efficient means to transact via their WeChat Pay mobile wallet. Presently, WeChat Pay is accessible at 5,000 Network payment terminals dispersed across the UAE, including more than 400 outlets situated in prominent Dubai malls, forming an integral part of Network’s expansive merchant partner network. Network is actively working to roll out WeChat Pay acceptance across all its Android-powered terminals.
The integration of WeChat Pay into Network’s suite of acceptance solutions aligns with the company’s commitment to distinguish itself by consistently providing innovative and pertinent propositions to its merchant partners, aligning with the evolving demands of their clientele. UAE’s tourism sector has exhibited a robust resurgence, positioning the country on a trajectory to become the world’s foremost international destination by the close of 2023. China has consistently ranked among the top five source markets for Dubai.
Data from Dubai Economy and Tourism (DET) highlights that Chinese visitor arrivals in Dubai soared to 177,000 in 2022, marking a remarkable 131 percent increase from 2021¹. Network, the UAE’s largest merchant acquirer, boasts a network of over 200,000 POS terminals distributed across a spectrum of sectors including upscale retail, hospitality, transportation, and supermarkets. This move to embrace WeChat Pay presents an invaluable opportunity for the retail and hospitality sectors in the UAE to tap into the resurgence of Chinese tourism.
Pankaj Kundra, Group Head of Products, Partnerships and Enterprises at Network International, said, “We are delighted to offer Chinese customers their preferred payment method, WeChat Pay, across POS terminals at leading merchant outlets in the country. The UAE is among the top travel destinations for Chinese visitors and the availability of a trusted and familiar payment option at popular shopping establishments will enable Chinese shoppers to make payments seamlessly. Network has enabled WeChat Pay at over 5,000 terminals across the UAE and we look forward to covering our entire network soon.”
He added, “This partnership is in line with Network’s commitment to boost the UAE’s payment ecosystem by making new payment methods available to UAE merchants through collaborations with prominent international businesses.”
Jeff Hu, General Manager, WeChat Pay EMEA, said, “WeChat Pay has always been committed to providing safe and convenient payment experiences for Chinese tourists. This collaboration further expands the application of mobile payments in the UAE, allowing Chinese tourists to enjoy the same convenient mobile payment experience as in China when traveling to the UAE.”