Powering Careem's digital payments initiative in the Middle East by Richie Santosdiaz for The Fintech Times
Fintech Middle East & Africa Paytech

Powering Careem’s Digital Payments Initiative in the Middle East and Africa

Careem is the everyday Super App for the greater Middle East region, which has been a pioneer of the region’s ride-hailing economy.  Operating in over 100 cities across 13 countries, it became a wholly owned subsidiary of Uber this year. Network International, the leading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East & Africa (MEA) announced that Careem joins its growing list of issuer processing clients.

Network International comprises of a group of companies and is the leading enabler of digital commerce across MEA, providing a full suite of technology-enabled payments solutions to merchants and financial institutions of all types and sizes, including acquiring and processing services and a comprehensive ever-evolving range of value-added services.

The five-year agreement will see Network International process prepaid cards on behalf of Careem in five countries: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Pakistan. The project is part of Careem’s digital payments initiative enabling its captains to access their daily trip earnings in real-time via a Visa card.

The project brings several benefits to Careem, its customers and captains, in addition to supporting the drive towards a cashless economy in the five countries. Most significantly, it will enable Careem’s captains to instantly access money they earn for both cash and non-cash transactions, instead of waiting days for the next payment cycle.

Careem became a wholly owned subsidiary of Uber in 2020 by Richie Santosdiaz for The Fintech Times
Careem became a wholly owned subsidiary of Uber in 2020 IMAGE SOURCE GETTY

Samer Soliman, the Managing Director – Middle East at Network International said, “We are delighted to collaborate with Careem on this critical project that not only addresses the urgent need for access to cash among the underbanked, but will also deliver the benefits of increased safety, security, convenience and flexibility via cashless transactions to all parties. Enabling digital payments is a commitment we share with Careem, and we look forward to further collaborations that accelerate the movement from cash to digital payments.”

Mudassir Sheikha, the CEO and Co-Founder of Careem said, “This partnership with Network International is an important milestone in Careem’s journey to become the region’s everyday Super App. Frictionless digital payments are an integral part of our helping simplify the daily lives of both our customers and captains. We care deeply about financial inclusion and so we’re excited to be working with an industry leader to put powerful Fintech in the hands of millions of people across our region.”

Network International’s collaboration with Careem comes at a pivotal time, as consumers increasingly shift to contactless payments, in the wake of safety guidelines and social distancing restrictions during the ongoing CoVID-19 pandemic.


  • Executive Economic Development Advisor (Emerging Markets) | Contributor

Related posts

Money20/20 Meetups: Relay Network at Las Vegas

Polly Jean Harrison

A 101 of The Startup Nation: Israel’s Startup and Fintech Landscape

Richie Santosdiaz

GITEX Global 2021 Dubai Round-up: Codebase Technologies, RoboAds, Microsoft For Startups and More

Polly Jean Harrison