12 Best Mobile Wallets in UAE (2023)

Written By Adrian Volenik Reviewed By Tim Doman

The UAE is going cashless. There’s no denying this, as institutions from the top down are committed to bringing digital banking and digital wallets, e-commerce, as well as mobile payments to the forefront.  

The pandemic has only further accelerated this process.

However, there are still around 1.7 million people that are unbanked in the UAE, according to the UAE Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority. Meaning there’s a long way to go.

This is also a great opportunity for fintech companies to enter the market with their digital wallets and mobile payment applications as they don’t require bank accounts and will be a gateway for many people to other banking and financial solutions. 

As I’ve used and reviewed hundreds of financial apps, I used my knowledge to compile a list of the best digital wallets in the UAE at the moment.

It’s a mix of local and global apps that are all fighting for the same, relatively small pool of people. 

So without further ado, here are the best mobile wallets on the market. 

  1. Payit
  2. e& money by Etisalat
  3. PayBy
  4. Apple Pay
  5. Google Pay
  6. Samsung Pay
  7. PayPal
  8. Careem 
  9. Beam Wallet
  10. Klip by Emirates Digital Wallet
  11. AliPay
  12. WePay

1. Payit

payit uae mobile wallet

Payit ProsPayit Cons
No monthly feesInstant transfers to select countries only
No minimum balance
200+ countries supported for transfers
Supports eDirham instant
Discounts and promotions

Payit is First Abu Dhabi Bank’s (FAB) digital wallet. It’s one of the most popular, if not the most popular eWallet in AE. 

It’s free to sign up for and free to use, as there are no monthly or annual subscription fees.

FAB Ratibi cardholders will be happy to know they can get up to 50% cash advance of their salary directly to their Payit wallets.  

Most customers use it for paying in person at retailers and restaurants by simply scanning the QR code. 

Splitting bills with friends, paying bills, requesting payments, and making international transfers are also popular. 

In fact, you can send money to more than 200 countries with competitive rates, 24/7. Payit has partnered with MoneyGram to bring you this very useful feature.  

However, there are also fee-free instant bank transfers to over 40 countries with the help of Mastercard. 

And lastly, the feature I love the most because I often don’t bring my wallet with me – you can withdraw cash from ATMs without using your card, as you can easily cash out with Payit. 

2. e& money by Etisalat

e& money by etisalat

e& money Prose& money Cons
No monthly feesNot many other features
No minimum balance
International remittance
No bank account required
mParking

Another popular digital wallet in UAE is e& money (formerly eWallet). It was launched by the telecommunication giant Etisalat more than five years ago and is the first digital wallet licensed by the Central Bank of UAE. 

It’s also going through a transformation into a new fintech firm to try and become a financial super app. 

But e& money is nothing to sneeze at in its current form as well. You can top it up easily, send and receive money, do international remittances, send cash gifts, vouchers, gift cards, pay parking, etc. 

People also use it to pay their bills in a few taps and top up various services.

Other than the features I just mentioned, there aren’t too many additional components yet.

Let’s hope the transformation the app is going through will soon fix that.   

3. PayBy

payby uae mobile wallet

PayBy ProsPayBy Cons
No monthly feesNot many other features
No minimum balance
Cost-efficient hardware solutions for merchants
Split bills

PayBy is a digital wallet created by the fintech firm of the same name in partnership with the First Abu Dhabi Bank.

It was launched relatively recently, in 2020. The app is extremely popular in AE as it’s easy to use and also offers nifty features. 

For instance, you can not only pay in-store via QR codes and UnionPay Virtual Cards, pay online, or split bills. 

But you can also naturally transfer money to friends and family while messaging, find and use vouchers and discounts, top-up services, pay for utilities, taxis or parking, etc.

4. Apple Pay

going to pay with apple cash

Apple Pay ProsApple Pay Cons
No monthly feesWorks only with Apple devices
No transaction feesLimited features
No internet connection requiredInstant transfer fee of 1.5%
Easy to use with an Apple Watch
Excellent privacy

Hundreds of millions of people have an iPhone, iPad, iMac, or iWatch. Apple and its iOS managed to infiltrate the lives of most of us. Including here in the UAE.

Apple Pay is the default mobile wallet on iOS devices, and more than 500 million people are using Apple Pay already. 

It’s frankly not much different than Google and Samsung Pay.

All three let us not worry about carrying our physical cards around anymore or even getting them from our banks. A virtual bank card is all you need to connect it to a digital wallet like Apple Pay.

Setup is also incredibly easy if you have an Apple device because the app is already on your device. Simply take a picture of your bank card, or enter details manually, and the card is linked. 

You can also add your loyalty cards, driver’s licenses, boarding passes, tickets of all types, IDs, keys, and much more. 

READ ALSO: Cash App Vs. Apple Pay (There Is a Significant Difference)

5. Google Pay

using google pay app

Google Pay ProsGoogle Pay Cons
Available on iOS, Android, and others1.5% fee for debit card P2P transfers
No monthly feesNot accepted everywhere
No transaction fees
Send and request money
Protects your data

Android Pay, and Google Wallet were combined to create Google Pay. It’s a digital wallet used by more than 150 million people in 42+ countries.

You can use it to store diverse forms of identification, including government IDs like driver’s licenses, coupons, gift cards, debit and credit cards, and even boarding permits, bus and train tickets, as well as event and concert tickets.

Outside of the US, it doesn’t have many features, but what it does, it does excellent.

It keeps your information private and is, in many ways, a superior way of paying than using the actual debit or credit card. 

Unlike Samsung Pay and Apple Pay, Google Pay is available on competitors’ devices, as you can download the app from the app store and use it on Apple and Samsung devices. 

READ ALSO: 6 Best Banks in Qatar (Personal, Business Accounts)

6. Samsung Pay

samsung pay

Samsung Pay ProsSamsung Pay Cons
Works in-store, in-app, and onlineOnly on select Samsung-produced devices
No monthly feesAvailable in only 29 countries
No transaction fees
Pay Planner
Promotions and discounts

Samsung Pay is very popular with its phone user base. It’s, therefore, unfortunate that you can’t use the app outside a select few Samsung devices. The digital wallet has over 150 million users worldwide, particularly in its source country South Korea. 

It’s already one of the most prominent mobile payment apps, and it would be even more popular if you could install it on devices outside of the Samsung ecosystem. 

Samsung Pay can only be used on Samsung phones. This is in contrast to Google Pay which can be used on both iPhones and Samsung phones. 

uae leading banks

The company has partnered with leading UAE banks to bring support for the app 

7. PayPal

paypal

PayPal ProsPayPal Cons
Widely acceptedMany fees
Free for many domestic transactionsHigh international costs
Convenient and easy to useExpensive foreign exchange fees
Multi-currency accounts availableSome transfers take time
Instant credit optionsScammers love it
Secure

PayPal has been around for around 25 years. I’ve used it extensively and still use it on some occasions, even though there are better, faster, or cheaper apps on the market.

However, PayPal is still an international powerhouse that has 430 million users. In the AE, it offers both personal and business accounts, but not debit or credit cards, or Buy Now, Pay Later.  

It’s missing many features that it offers in other markets, including the US and the UK. It is still very convenient to use as many people have an account already and/or the app installed.  

Even though people use it for international transactions that include FX, PayPal isn’t great for that because of its high foreign transaction and exchange fees, as well as out-of-network ATM fees. 

But if you’re going to use it for shopping online, it’s still one of the best options, as you don’t need to give the retailer your bank or card info. 

READ NEXT: 15 Best Digital Banks and Banking Accounts in the USA

8. Careem 

careem payment app

Careem ProsCareem Cons
No monthly fees
Many features
Send and receive money
Book a ride
Get deliveries

Careem is a Dubai-based company founded more than 12 years ago that offers delivery and food delivery service, car rides, home cleaning service, bike rides, digital wallet, and much more. It’s one of the so-called super apps. 

The company was acquired by Uber in 2020 and is present in more than 100 cities in 12 countries in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. 

If you live here, you probably already have the app installed and are more than familiar with its many features. 

The app is endorsed by the UAE Central Bank and was launched in partnership with FAB and Magnati (payment solutions). 

9. Beam Wallet

beam wallet uae

Beam Wallet ProsBeam Wallet Cons
No monthly feesNot many other features
No minimum balance
No transaction fees
Cashback
Rewards and discounts

Beam is a popular Dubai-based digital wallet and payments app that has gone global in recent years, spreading to countries like Portugal, Belgium, Australia, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, and others. 

It’s a simple eWallet where you can keep your spending money, send and receive payments, unlock rewards, and add up to 10 credit, debit, national or international cards. 

You can also top up your phone and pay for DTH subscriptions and fuel, but not much more. 

10. Klip by Emirates Digital Wallet

klip digital wallet

Klip ProsKlip Cons
No monthly feesNot many other features
No minimum balance
No need to have a bank account
Funds transferred instantly

Klip is an eWallet that’s a product of the partnership between 16 of the UAE’s national banks and operated by Emirates Digital Wallet LLC.

The most notable thing about it is that you don’t even have to have a bank account, even though it’s designed by UAE’s banks. 

UAE residents can apply for a Klip account through their bank or directly by downloading the app. 

This is a simple, I’d call it barebones digital wallet that doesn’t have many features apart from the most basic eWallet features. 

11. AliPay

Alipay ProsAlipay Cons
Largest online payment platform in ChinaOnly for people from China/SE Asia
Excellent choice for merchants with a lot of Asian foot traffic 

Alipay is the world’s most used payment app or digital wallet, with around 1.3 billion users, mostly in China. It was founded almost 20 years ago and is expanding worldwide, including the UAE, where it’s partnering with Mashreq Bank, FAB, and some others.

In China, the app is a true super app, a lifestyle app, or even a lifestyle enabler, as it’s sometimes called. 

In the rest of the world, it has far fewer features and benefits and mostly works as a simple digital wallet that you can use to pay for things and services, in-store and online. 

However, you need to know that it’s still only suitable for people from China, as you have to connect a Chinese bank card to use the app. It is, therefore, appropriate for Chinese tourists that visit the UAE. 

12. WePay

WePay ProsWePay Cons
Accepts foreign Visa and MasterCard credit cardsOnly for people from China/SE Asia
Excellent choice for merchants with a lot of Asian foot traffic 

Similar to AliPay, WePay also hails from China and is suitable only for people with bank accounts in mainland China, however, I included both of these wallets as there are hundreds of thousands of Chinese people in the UAE.

Unfortunately, outside of China/Asia, it doesn’t offer too many features or benefits and will basically work like a basic digital wallet or a mobile payments app.  

If you found this article useful, check more written by our team about the UAE and Dubai:

About the Author

Chief Editor at TopMobileBanks

Adrian is a fintech expert who has tested hundreds of financial apps, cards, and accounts. His love for testing digital banks, payment apps, and financial products, in general, is unmatched.

How many digital banking accounts can one man have?

Not enough, if you ask Adrian. As his wallet will soon explode if he doesn’t cut back on the number of cards.

On the plus side, they have enabled him to create awesome How-To Guides that you can read on our site.

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