The UAE telecom giant du has launched a new financial services super app called du Pay, as the company looks to diversify its business in the digital payment sector. 

Du CEO Fahad Al Hassawi, CEO said the company would be expanding its current services to include micro loans, which will launch in “less than a year.”

The du Pay app offers a range of financial services, which includes international money transfers to 220 countries, salary deposits, mobile top-ups and bill payments, and peer-to-peer transfers, which isn’t limited to the teleco’s customers alone.

According to Al Hassawi, the app is currently available in six languages and, including Arabic, English, Hindi, and Bangla, with its target market zeroing in on the large population of blue-collar workers in the country. The app also provides users with individual IBANs, allowing users to receive funds, including salaries, notably for domestic workers, directly within du Pay app.

Cardless cash withdrawals from select ATM in the UAE will also be accessible via the app, while a payment card will also be available soon to facilitate online and offline transactions globally.

“There is a huge opportunity in the UAE for the growth of digital money services. What we offer with du Pay is a variety of services that excludes nobody. We are providing a service to people that is much needed and that makes it much easier to market,” said du Pay CEO Nicholas Levi. “Aside from individual users, SMEs and companies can also take advantage of the salary transfer option to pay staff.”

Micro loans are the next big offering for du Pay, which could involve extending customers’ small loans and credit facilities through their mobile platforms.

“We are looking to launch this in less than a year, but because we don’t have the license to do so on our own, it would be in partnership with someone,” Levi said, without revealing more details.

The integration of FinTech and telecommunications has resulted in a big shift in the digital payment sector, giving rise to innovations that include mobile banking, digital wallets and blockchain transactions. Market projections suggest the worldwide digital payment sector will reach $3.3 trillion by 2031, according to the ‘Global Payments 2022: The New Growth Game’ report by research firm BCG.

“One of the things we want to do at du is diversify outside the telecom revenue stream,” said Al Hassawi. “Usually, we don’t reveal our market share but, in this case, the one unique benefit we have is that as a teleco operator, we are known commercial brand and have access our 8.5 million mobile customer base.”

Without revealing how much the company’s non-core business will account for du’s overall revenue by 2030, Al Hassawi said they were looking at “double-digit” growth in this sector by this time next year.

(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)