Al Etihad Payments Unveils Instant Payments Platform Aani

Published 6 months ago
  Al Etihad Payments

The Central Bank of the UAE’s (CBUAE) subsidiary, Al Etihad Payments (AEP), has introduced Aani, a cutting-edge instant payments platform. Aani, part of the CBUAE’s Financial Infrastructure Transformation (FIT) programme, marks a significant shift towards secure, instant digital payments.

A Leap Towards a Global Digital Payment Hub

In alignment with the UAE’s ambition to become a global digital payment hub, Aani allows licensed financial institutions (LFIs) and payment service providers to deliver an exceptional user experience. It offers consumers, businesses, corporates, and government entities a unique digital payment experience, facilitating instant and secure transactions 24/7.

Key Features of Aani

Aani’s suite of functions includes instant money transfers using the recipient’s phone number. It also provides “Request Money” and “Split Bills” features, effectively simplifying various payment experiences. Additionally, Aani supports QR codes, enabling easy, cashless payments at merchant locations.

Future Functionalities and Participation

The near future will see the introduction of additional features like real-time direct debit and e-checks. The launch saw participation from eight LFIs, including Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Al Fardan Exchange, Emirates NBD, Finance House, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Habib Bank AG Zurich, Mashreq Bank and National Bank of Fujairah.

AEP plans to onboard the remaining LFIs by the end of 2024. Aani can be accessed via the existing channels of the participating LFIs or through AEP’s Aani mobile app.

Merchant Acquirers and QR-based Payments

AEP has also collaborated with Magnati, Mashreq/Neo Pay and Network International to enable Aani QR-based payments with merchants. This collaboration aims to onboard tens of thousands of merchants in the coming months.

CEO’s Remarks

Jan Pilbauer, CEO of AEP, expressed his delight at the introduction of Aani. He emphasized that the platform would redefine digital payment experiences and strengthen the UAE’s position as a global digital payment hub.

The unveiling of Aani follows the announcement of the UAE’s first Domestic Card Scheme (DCS), which further bolsters the nation’s digitisation agenda, reduces the cost of payments, and enhances the UAE’s competitiveness.

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