Mastercard and Nirvana Travel Team on Digital Payments in Middle East

Mastercard, Binance, Brazil, personal finance

Mastercard and travel agency Nirvana Travel and Tourism are partnering to provide a payment solution to customers who book travel services in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

The collaboration combines digital and contactless payment technology for consumer and business travel, the companies said in a Thursday (July 13) press release. As part of the initiative, corporate customers can also use integrated travel expense management solutions.

“At Mastercard, we recognize travel as a key passion point, and we know that safe and secure contactless payments have an important part to drive superior customer engagement,” Amnah Ajmal, executive vice president of market development for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa at Mastercard, said in the release.

Nirvana’s group of companies is one of the UAE’s biggest domestic online travel and logistics service providers with more than 70 branches worldwide, according to the release. The company is a leading travel agent for the airlines Emirates and Etihad. The company is also a key service provider for many UAE government entities.

The global leisure travel industry is experiencing a recovery, the release said. In March this year, the sector saw a 31% increase in global leisure travel compared to the same period in 2019.

“We always look to develop advanced and state-of-the-art solutions to further enhance our customer’s journey, and by collaborating with a globally renowned and customer-focused name like Mastercard, I believe we can take our customer’s experience to elevated levels of excellence,” Nirvana Holding CEO Alaa Al Ali said in the release.

PYMNTS research found that in January, the number of consumers using digital tools to support their travel and commuting needs was 14% higher than a was a year earlier.

“The most significant increase we’ve seen is in the share of consumers using digital to support their travel and commuting needs, using apps, aggregators and platforms to help them do everything from commuting to planning vacations,” according to “The ConnectedEconomy Monthly Report: Digitally Divided — Work, Health and the Income Gap.”

The report also found that the number of consumers checking travel information online and the number purchasing airfare online were up 16%.