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The Top 3 Merchant Services Providers in the UAE

In today’s fast paced business world, we know how important it is for businesses to accept and process debit and credit card payments securely.

The Coronavirus outbreak has signaled a turning point for the payments industry. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the pandemic has led to an abrupt shift towards online payments and away from cash and paper checks.

If you intend on keeping your business on the up-and-up, you’ll need to set up a merchant account. This type of account empowers your business to accept electronic payments from customers.

Whether your business is new on the scene, or you’re exploring your options for finding a new merchant service provider as an established business, this article will hopefully steer you in the right direction.

 What Are Merchant Services?

The term "Merchant Services” describes, first and foremost, the hardware, software services, and financial relationships needed for businesses to accept and process credit or debit card payments from their customers. This can be through a terminal in a face to face environment, over the phone or online.

More specifically, a merchant account is a certain type of bank account that provides a connection between the business, the payment service provider and the acquiring bank. Examples of merchant services include:

•             Point-of-Sale (POS) Systems

•             Online Payment Gateways

•             Ecommerce platforms and services

•             Gift Card, loyalty and other promotional programs.

How Card Processing Works

Although to the untrained eye the processing of card payments can seem like a straightforward transaction at first, there is actually a lot of unseen work done in the bankcard system.

Let's start with the basics of online payment processing. The key players involved in a credit card transaction process are the cardholder, the merchant (business), the acquiring bank (the business's bank), the issuing bank (the cardholder's bank), and the card associations (Visa and MasterCard).

Online credit card transactions are usually processed in a matter of seconds. Here is what happens:

•             The issuing bank issues a credit or debit card to a cardholder.

•             Your customer pays for their purchase by swiping their card on a point of sale (POS) terminal.

•             After swiping the credit card on a point of sale (POS) terminal, the customer's credit card details are sent to the acquiring bank for payment authorization.

•             Your processor sends the transactions to the appropriate card association (Visa and MasterCard, etc.) who passes it onto the issuing bank or the card issuer.

•             The issuing bank or credit card company approves or declines the request based upon the status of your customer’s account.

•             The approval or denial message is returned back to the terminal after the process is complete.

Why is a Merchant Account Important for Your Business?

Partnering with a reliable merchant services provider is a vital part of running and growing your business. They facilitate credit card processing and provide other important services for your business. Examples of key advantages offered by a merchant services provider include:

•             Accepting payments from your customers via credit, debit, and electronic payments seamlessly.

•             Securely managing PCI compliance when processing and storing payment information for your business.

•             Providing your business with innovative tools to track payments, recurring billing, invoicing and more.

Our Top Picks for UAE Merchant Services


ADCB is an all-in-one merchant services provider, meaning it can process payments in store, over the phone, or online. ADCB merchant account offers a quality service, easy integration with third party accounts, and most importantly, robust protection with end-to-end encryption.

The key advantage of choosing ADCB as your merchant service provider is ADCB’s wide range of secure and flexible payment solutions. Once you create your merchant account with ADCB, you can accept credit card payments, receive online payments, process invoices, accept contactless payments, and above all - gain customer satisfaction. 

Al Mashreq 

The second prevalent merchant account provider in UAE that we want to suggest is Mashreq Bank. Its Merchant services are designed to facilitate credit card payments for e-commerce, mobile and platform businesses.

Rak bank

RAKBank’s merchant services include a range of options to make processing payments quick and easy.  RAKBANKPay offers businesses across the country the ability to accept electronic payments safely and securely using the latest technology across all channels.

The outbreak of COVID-19 is impacting almost all industries and sectors around the world, and the payments industry is no exception. While consumer behavior and payment technologies will continue to evolve over the coming years, remaining flexible and responding to customers' changing needs can go a long way toward ensuring your business remains successful for decades to come.

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