In the first phase, customers can seamlessly transfer money from the UAE to Pakistan in minutes at competitive rates through the ‘Send Abroad’ tile on the Careem app. Funds are sent directly to a recipients’ foreign bank account whether they are Careem or non-Careem customers. The process is fully digital with electronic KYC completed in seconds, making it possible to send money overseas in just a few taps. Transfers exceeding USD 109 are free of charge.
Careem’s officials stated that building on their digital wallet, P2P transfer, and bill payments services, international remittance is a natural progression in Careem Pay’s mission to augment people by simplifying their payment experiences and access to financial services. Their international remittance service was launched with Careem’s Captains in mind, all of whom are familiar with the Careem platform and many of whom support dependents in Pakistan. The company’s goal is to provide a simple, user-friendly experience.
Also commenting on the partnership, representatives from LuLu Financial Group said that as consumer-facing organisations, both Careem and LuLu Exchange share a common philosophy to augment people’s lives using technology. Being a trusted name in cross-border payments, they are happy to integrate their fully compliant remittance-as-a-service platform with Careem Pay and contribute towards the rapid adoption of digital payments among the people of UAE.
The remittance relationship between the two countries
The UAE is the second largest source of remittance globally, with nearly USD 50 billion sent abroad in 2021, as per the press release. Over 1.7 million Pakistani expats live and work in the UAE and the country has become one of the largest sources of remittance to Pakistan, with USD 452.5 million transferred to Pakistan in November 2022 alone. Careem plans to expand the service to include transfer to the Philippines, Egypt, and India in the near future.
Careem Pay combines a seamless front-end user experience with money transfer technology to connect customers and Captains with remittance services provided by licensed providers such as Lulu Exchange. In 2022 Careem acquired Denarii, a Dubai-based money transfer platform which integrates fintechs and financial institutions with global remittance aggregators, banks, exchanges, and wallets.
Lulu Exchange has developed an API-first model using the Digit 9 platform to provide remittance-as-a-service to its partners. Digit 9 is a SaaS provider, enabling financial institutions to offer their services to other financial institutions and fintechs.
Other services provided by Careem Pay
The introduction of international remittance follows the launch of Careem Pay’s domestic peer-to-peer money transfer in the UAE in 2022 under the authorisation of the UAE Central Bank. Through ‘One-click checkout’, the app enables customers to seamlessly check out at selected online merchants using the contact, delivery, and payment information they have saved on the Careem app. Careem Pay’s bills and recharge platform enables customers to settle phone, TV, internet bills, electricity, water, and gas bills in just a couple of taps, with auto reminders and service trackers to ensure that they never miss a payment.
The Careem app now offers over a dozen services in the UAE including ride-hailing, food and grocery delivery, micro-mobility, payments, and partner services including car rental, home cleaning, laundry services, and ticket purchasing.