Dubai: Ziina, the Dubai-based, YC-backed fintech start-up on a mission to bring money online for consumers in the Middle East, continues to bring innovation to the world of payments. Its latest invention: a payments keyboard – the first of its kind in the digital wallets space, and for which Ziina has filed a patent.

“Ziina’s new product, currently in beta mode, takes the pain of cash entirely out of the equation. Since its inception in 2020, we have made it our focus to design and build the most seamless way for individuals to send and receive money. Today, we introduce our latest invention – the ZiiBoard – created especially for businesses,” said Faisal Toukan, CEO and co-founder of the app. “Businesses can now generate payment links and collect payments in three taps, from within the messaging app of their choice.”

Currently rolled out to a select set of Ziina’s most active business customers, the ZiiBoard allows SMEs and freelancers to request payments from their clients directly within any messaging app, whether that be WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, or Signal. The ZiiBoard allows businesses to get paid via Apple Pay, Google Pay, or any international card.

Thousands of small businesses in the UAE are operated by owners who run the entirety of their operations themselves from A-to-Z. Their day-to-day work involves chatting with customers, collecting information, and fulfilling orders. They switch between their various applications for messaging and collecting payments dozens of times daily. This tedious work makes up a sizable chunk of their day — time they could spend growing their business and increasing order volume. With the ZiiBoard, businesses can now request payments on WhatsApp, Instagram, or any messenger in just a few taps. Customers also find the feature delightful as they receive their invoices and are able to pay them seamlessly and instantly. Awkward transactions that take 10-20 minutes of back and forth are now reduced to 10 seconds.

Mastercard’s New Payments Index 2022 found that 88% of people in the UAE prefer convenience over cash, using at least one emerging payment method in the last year. The report also highlighted that with UAE consumers being increasingly aware of solutions such as cryptocurrency, digital cards, biometric payments, BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) and open banking, many of them are actively using these solutions in their everyday lives.

Anton Badashov, Head of Design at Ziina, said: “Ziina stands out with its exceptional user experience and design, having been recognised with and awarded nine international UI/UX design awards, including the prestigious Red Dot Award. The ZiiBoard continues this design tradition, with technology that serves customer needs by integrating payments effortlessly into the way merchants are already conducting their business.”

All businesses and entrepreneurs will need to do is download the Ziina app and activate the ZiiBoard for it to appear alongside the Emoji keyboard or other language keyboards. Businesses on Ziina will be able to make payments a seamless part of any chat flow with their customers or friends.

Toukan concluded: “Ziina is proving its commitment to making the payment process infinitely faster and more convenient; prioritising a delightful user experience; making payments between Ziina businesses and their customers faster, friendlier, and more fun. By patenting this technology, Ziina is further cementing the UAE’s position on the global innovation map as a place where local technology can compete at an international level. We’re proud to be a homegrown fintech innovating on a global level.”

About Ziina:

As the UAE’s first customer-centric financial platform, Ziina is on a mission to simplify finance for everyone. Send and receive payments with just a phone number—no IBAN or swift code required. Currently available in beta to UAE residents on iOS and Android, the app provides a seamless way for friends and family to split the cost of takeout or a grocery bill. The app has won nine international UI/UX design awards, including the Red Dot Award for Finance App. As Ziina grows, we’re committed to creating a new age of money in the Middle East and redefining how people use technology to transform their finances.

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