Payments provider Network International said on Thursday that a new $35m (Dh129m) deal with Mastercard will support the “development of new products and solutions” in the Middle East and pave the way for better digital experiences and options for credit card customers in the UAE.

Network International revealed details about the new agreement with Mastercard alongside its latest corporate report, which showed that overall revenues for the company jumped 12.4% to $152.35m during the first six months of the year. CEO Simon Haslam said that he now expects to accelerate deeper geographic penetration in the UAE and other key markets.

Network International has already renewed its contracts with Emirates NBD and Emirates Islamic, which both provide personal banking services to customers in the UAE, for five more years. It noted that customer momentum “remained strong” during the period ending 30 June 2019.

The new agreement with Mastercard will also support growth and expansion in key markets, including the UAE, through to 2024. Haslam revealed in a statement: “The agreement also includes a commitment from MasterCard to invest $35m through Network International over the next five years.”

It is now four months since Network International featured in one of Europe’s biggest initial public offerings of 2019 after raising £1.1bn (Dh4.89bn) on the London Stock Exchange. The Dubai-based company sold 200 million shares at £4.35 (Dh19.34) in April, which resulted in a £2.18bn (Dh9.69bn) market valuation.

Network International revealed that the Middle East was responsible for 73% of the revenue that it earned during the first half of the year, which increased 9.3% to more than $111.5m. The company has benefited from a recent shift to digital payments from cash in the region, a trend that is likely to become more prevalent during the next 12 months.

The scope of Network International’s framework is substantial as it processed in excess of $40bn in payments for over 65,000 merchants in 2018. The company noted that its recent push into UAE-bordered Saudi Arabia will continue during the second half of the year with a particular focus on credit card payment processing. 

There are also plans to grow a presence in other countries such as Egypt, though it wants to pursue a “purely organic” core strategy. Haslam added: “We will pursue strategic and disciplined M&A if it helps bring new product capabilities to our portfolio or strengthens our position in these markets.”

Customers in the UAE who are looking to open up a new credit card account this summer to complete their own traditional or digital transactions are reminded that they have a huge range of options available to them. Comparing credit cards online will enable customers to find the right bank for them based on a number of factors.

Before taking out a credit card, customers are urged to consider criteria such as interest rates, which can vary depending on employment, foreign currency rate, salary requirements, annual fees and other charges, and benefits.

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