Nium Travel Adds Support for Emirati Dirham (AED) to its Virtual Card Funding and Issuing Capabilities

5 Minute read
1 year ago

Currency support for popular tourist hub allows Nium customers to issue a virtual card and spend in AED for fast payments, reduced complexity, and improved transaction-level controls

By Christian Falzon, Product Director, Nium Travel

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) are a must-visit country with fantastic attractions, world-class dining, and luxurious resorts. But, the UAE is more than a top-ranked tourist spot. Dubai is a global trade center, and its capital, Abu Dhabi, has grown to be an international symbol of modernity. 

Their location in the heart of the Middle East gives the UAE a geographical advantage; they have long been considered the influential cultural hub connecting the rest of the world and have seen significant growth in inbound arrivals and tourism. In fact, according to a 2022 study, the region witnessed a 4% increase in inbound arrivals, a stark difference from the global average, which experienced a 30% decrease. Additionally, when comparing 2019 data with 2022, seven of the top 10 routes originate, arrive in the Middle East, or do both.

Middle East Travel: UAE’s Booming Tourism Industry

The more we explore travel trends, the more evident Middle East’s popularity gets as a preferred destination. Their success in attracting high traffic is proven by a 114.7% increase in passengers between Oct 2021 and Oct 2022, with Dubai alone generating $29.4 billion in tourism receipts (2022), topping the list of cities with the highest spending by international visitors.

With this growth in demand showing no signs of slowing down, the travel industry has come into the spotlight, and so has the need to improve travel payments. Online travel agencies, and travel management companies have to pay their suppliers fast, without incurring hefty FX fees, to increase their sales and get better airline incentives–challenges that virtual credit cards can easily address.

Growing Nium’s Virtual Credit Card Currency Support with the UAE Dirham

Just because sales volume is growing, it doesn’t mean online travel agencies have to accept inflated costs, inefficiency, administrative burdens, or fraud exposure as a business norm. Nium’s virtual credit cards are the one-stop solution to take charge of money movement; this means maximized liquidity, profits, and fast settlements so B2B travel payments can become a strength instead of a weakness.

Taking the benefits further, Nium Travel (formerly Ixaris) is pleased to expand its currency funding and issuing capabilities via virtual credit cards with the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED) as the newest supported currency. Providing cost-savings and convenience, the Emirati Dirham will help unlock increased revenue for online travel agencies (OTAs).

This new currency is made available via the Visa Virtual Payment B2B product, which is tailor-made for the travel sector so payments can be deposited to suppliers in the native currency without paying extra foreign exchange fees. This allows Nium customers to issue a virtual card and spend in AED for fast payments, reduced complexity, and improved transaction-level controls.

Why Choose Virtual Credit Cards for Travel Industry Payments?

Virtual credit cards have become a staple in modern payments with the fast-paced adoption of this payment solution, especially by OTAs. There is a vast range of benefits virtual credit cards deliver, but the key ones driving their popularity are:

  1. Enhanced security. Minimizing fraud and risk exposure, virtual credit cards provide robust control for hassle-free global transactions, a powerful advantage when processing high transaction volumes and international payments.
  2. Increased profits. Fast payments improve business cash flow, so better decisions can be made to drive profit-focused initiatives. Also, OTAs can exercise improved financial controls to overcome errors and reconciliation red flags.
  3. Better visibility. Virtual credit cards provide flexibility to accommodate payment customization. Travel is a fast-moving industry linked to flight and hotel bookings, returns, and disputes; changes and queries linked to these functions can be easily managed with transparent transaction trails.
  4. Streamlined cross-border business. Addressing the core of travel payment challenges, this payment solution enables OTAs to hold funds in their supplier’s local currencies so they can cut costs associated with foreign exchange fluctuations and transaction fees.

Download the latest eBook to learn why travel companies and OTAs should adopt virtual cards to transform their payment strategy. To speak with a payments expert, contact us here.

About Christian Falzon

Christian joined the Malta-based Nium team (formerly known as Ixaris) as a Junior Programmer in 2011 and has progressed his career in different technical and product roles within Nium. As a Product Director for the Nium Travel, Christian focuses on enhancing the product proposition and expanding the card product portfolio, delivering robust and valuable products for Nium clients.

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