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Monday, June 5, 2023

UAE’s Astra Tech acquires Mastercard Principal membership

Astra Tech’s PayBy, a fintech company licensed by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates to provide a variety of financial technology services, became one of the first fintech companies to be licensed by MasterCard as a principal member, and has achieved significant financial technology in the MENA region milestone.

This achievement further enhances Astra’s ecosystem, which is now able to provide users with a full range of financial services. In addition, Astra’s PayBy is a pioneer in offering multi-currency prepaid metal cards through its premium card product, offering customers a new level of financial flexibility and convenience.

Through its partnership with Mastercard, Astra will issue branded Mastercard digital and physical cards, authorization services and prepaid multi-currency cards to millions of users on its BOTIM and Payby platforms. In addition, Astra is approved as an acquirer to utilize a range of Mastercard products including payment gateways, Tap on Phone, and fraud and cybersecurity.

Additionally, as part of Astra’s vision to become a leading technology enabler in the region, the company will be able to offer BIN sponsorship services, enabling other third-party fintech companies to issue prepaid cards and connect to Mastercard’s network of card programs. These efforts strengthen Astra’s position to empower other fintech companies in the region.

With over 100 million registered users and 80% market penetration in the UAE, BOTIM has the capability to become the largest card-issuing fintech company in the region, enabling millions of users to access cutting-edge financial services on top of its communication platform.

Abdallah Abu Sheikh, co-founder and CEO of Astra Tech, the parent company of BOTIM, said:

“Our vision is to be the leading technology company in the MENA region. We are one of the largest technology companies in the region, helping tens of millions of users every day. Our commitment is to make life easier for users. Financial services is the world One of the most important and underdeveloped sectors in this region.To meet this challenge, we choose to partner with a trusted world-renowned company like Mastercard to ensure that we provide the best services our users deserve.

JK Khalil, Cluster General Manager, MENA Region, Mastercard said:

“At Mastercard, we enable fintech companies to innovate and bring new digital payment solutions to market quickly and easily. We are delighted to partner with Astra Tech’s PayBy and support their vision to deliver new digital payments through our BIN sponsorship service Further empowering other fintech companies. Through this partnership, millions of users will have access to Mastercard’s global reach and suite of products as we join forces to create a more connected and inclusive digital future for all. “

Emirati technology development and investment company Astra Tech, which acquired BOTIM and Payby earlier this year, has rapidly transformed the functionality of a VoIP app to serve as the basis for its forthcoming Ultra App. The acquisition of BOTIM is a landmark transaction in the MENA technology sector. With over 100 million registered users and 80% penetration in the UAE, BOTIM is the most popular VoIP application in the region.

Earlier this month, Astra launched its international remittance service on top of BOTIM and plans to launch full ultra app functionality in the second quarter of 2023.

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