Network International offers Dh5m to support SMEs

Payments processor Network International is offering Dh5 million (US$1.36m) in cash and other support to help its smaller customers offset the economic impact of the coronavirus on their businesses.

The London-listed company will contribute nearly Dh3.7m in cash to 1,000 of its “most severely impacted” merchant clients across all industries with each company receiving Dh3,673, it said in a statement.

The company also waived minimum transaction fees for clients across all industries in the UAE for the next three months and is supporting new small business users of its N-Genius online platform with “zero merchant service fees to help them quickly enable their business online”.

“As concerns around the global Covid-19 pandemic evolve, we recognise that some of our merchant partners have been severely impacted by this extraordinary situation and we are standing by those that need us most, with immediate and practical relief measures over the next few months,” said Samer Soliman, managing director for Network International’s Middle East operations.

“Our cash support will offer these businesses much needed liquidity to help relieve the stress on their cash flow so they can carry on operations.”

The measures come as financial institutions and governments across the world step up efforts to support businesses affected by the health crisis which has wiped at least $17 trillion (Dh62.44tn) from stock markets worldwide.

Earlier this week, the UAE government increased its stimulus package to Dh126 billion to support the economy and help small businesses.

The increase in support follows a slew of other initiatives rolled out over the past month.

A number of banks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are offering loan repayment holidays and reduced charges to help soften the impact of Covid-19 on their finances and relieve economic pressure.

The Central Bank of the UAE has introduced a comprehensive Dh100bn stimulus package to support the economy.

“The UAE payments industry is among the fastest growing in the world and we maintain business confidence in the UAE’s vision for growth as we continue enhancing the nation’s payment infrastructure to create a best-in-class payment ecosystem,” Mr Soliman said.

Network International, which listed in London last year, reported a 26 per cent increase in its 2019 net profit on the back of double-digit revenue growth.

The Dubai company's net income from continuing operations climbed to $59m, as revenue grew 12.4 per cent to $334.9m, it said this month.

Updated: March 25, 2020 04:56 PM