Al Etihad Payments launches Aani, an instant payments platform, marking a new era of safe and seamless digital transactions in the UAE.

With the goal of revolutionising digital payments in the UAE, Al Etihad Payments (AEP), a division of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), has formally introduced “Aani,” an immediate payments platform.

Aani, a major project of the Financial Infrastructure Transformation (FIT) programme of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, heralds in a new era of instantaneous, safe, and easy digital payments. With the goal of making the United Arab Emirates (UAE) a global hub for digital payments, Aani helps payment service providers and licenced financial institutions (LFIs) to provide outstanding client experiences.

Additionally, Aani provides a digital payment experience for individuals, companies, corporations, and governmental organisations, allowing transactions to be completed quickly and securely seven days a week.

With the use of Aani’s practical feature set, customers may send money right away to anyone, anywhere in the world, only by providing their phone number. Aani also has other features like “Split Bills” and “Request Money,” which streamline different payment processes. Moreover, Aani supports QR codes, making it easier for customers to make cashless purchases at retailers.

We’re going to be adding more features soon, like electronic checks and real-time direct debit. 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 are the eight licenced financial institutions taking part in the launch. By year’s end in 2024, AEP stated, it is striving to onboard the remaining LFIs.


“A stimulant for financial inclusion, innovation, and economic growth”

In order to facilitate Aani QR-based payments with merchants, AEP has also been collaborating with Magnati, Mashreq/Neo Pay, and Network International. Tens of thousands of merchants will be onboarded through these and other authorised merchant acquirers in the upcoming months.

“The launch of Aani exemplifies our unwavering commitment to digitise the economy and advance the financial sector, aligning with the aspirations of our visionary leadership and the CBUAE’s objectives,” stated Saif Humaid Al Dhaheri, chairman of Al Etihad Payments.

“Aani is more than just a payment platform; it’s a driver of innovation, financial inclusion, and economic prosperity. We’re still committed to creating an environment that supports growth, competition, and innovation for the good of the whole financial system.

“We are delighted to introduce Aani, a platform that redefines the digital payment experience and reinforces the UAE’s pioneering position as a global digital payment hub,” stated Jan Pilbauer, CEO of Al Etihad Payments. Working closely with our partners, we are dedicated to utilising both present and upcoming features that cater to changing market demands in order to fully realise the potential of Aani.

The introduction of Aani comes after the UAE’s first Domestic Card Scheme (DCS), which lowers payment costs, boosts the country’s competitiveness, and advances the country’s digitalization strategy.

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