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PayBy Receives Licences From the UAE’s Central Bank

Fintech innovator PayBy has received licenses from the Central Bank of the UAE to conduct Stored Value Facility (SVF) and Retail Payment Services (RPS) operations.

UAE-based technology investment and development group Astra Tech acquired PayBy in August 2022. The central bank’s licenses enable PayBy to continue providing payment solutions to the fintech industry. The licences for SVF and RPS operations represent one of the UAE’s highest levels of financial services approval.

Because of the latest development, PayBy’s customers and merchants can access secure services, including international money transfers, seamless payment solutions, wallet top-ups and more. Users will be able to access all of their services via a soon-to-be-released app by Astra Tech. The app is expected to launch in the coming months.

Astra Tech explained that it aims to continue “acquiring and equipping sector-leading customer-centric businesses with disruptive and progressive technologies”. The company ultimately aims to offer greater usability and efficiency to users’ everyday lives.

Astra Tech currently aims to raise $500million from investors and partners, to ensure the launch of its app.

PayBy itself boasted over AED 600million in transactions as of May 2022. The innovator aims to build an all-in-one mobile payment ecosystem across the UAE and GCC, providing a safe and contactless payment solution.

Securing central bank licenses
Abdallah Abu-Sheikh of Astra Tech on PayBy
Abdallah Abu-Sheikh, founder and CEO of Astra Tech

Abdallah Abu Sheikh, founder and CEO of Astra Tech, offered his view on obtaining the licences. He explained: “We are honoured to have secured the license from UAE’s central bank which marks a huge milestone achievement for both Astra Tech and PayBy.

“We’re excited to launch our secure payment solutions to customers and merchants in the UAE to enable smoother digital transactions and make everyday commerce friction-free. We have always aligned with the UAE’s vision of creating a cashless ecosystem. We are also thankful to the central bank for trusting us with our secure technology.

“Astra Tech will stay true to its mission of offering a more robust value proposition to customers and merchants by eliminating the burden of unfavourable and compounded commission structures that are usually passed on to suppliers, partners, and consumers by today’s super apps.”

Astra Tech also recently acquired personal and home services platform provider Rizek. The acquisition aimed to accelerate a pathway to a digitised ecosystem, as the acquisition of PayBy also attempted.

Rizek has also already expanded from the UAE to the likes of KSA and Egypt. The platform provider aims to simultaneously offer Asia access to its services. Rizek also aims to contribute a corporate culture of borderless innovation to drive value for users.

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