Mastercard has partnered with Mashreq Bank to launch a new digital payments solution for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Dubbed ‘Tap on Phone’, the new touchless payments solution is powered by Mastercard’s Payment Gateway Technology.

It is a part of Mastercard’s omnichannel ‘SME in a Box’ solution launched in August this year, in the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region.

Mastercard said that Tap on Phone service will allow merchants in the country to accept digital payments using their Android smartphones and boost their sales.

They can accept payment from contactless cards, mobile wallets, and smartwatches as well.

There are no hardware costs associated with the solution as it is app-based, the payment giant added.

Specifically, it has been developed for businesses in the food and beverage industry as well as food delivery and farmers markets.

Mashreq Bank head of payments Kartik Taneja said: “Mastercard Payment Gateway Services have been our trusted partner for many years, and we are glad that by joining forces we were able to make this new solution available to thousands of small businesses in the UAE.”

Mastercard’s Tap on Phone solution is currently live in 16 markets across Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Latin America (LATAM), North America and MEA regions.

The payments giant has launched pilots in Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Poland, Kazakhstan, Romania, Canada, Belarus, Russia, Turkey, the UK, and others.

Mastercard EVP of payment gateway services Keith Douglas said: “Omnichannel solutions like SME in a Box, including Tap On Phone, bring a world of new opportunities to small enterprises in the region, often allowing them to compete with large retailers.

“We are proud to be launching this product with an innovative and forward-thinking partner like Mashreq Bank.”

Last week, Mastercard and fintech firm ZEN launched digital finance tools to enable consumers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs to manage their finances and make payments using contactless cards.

Mastercard also teamed up with British fintech firm SumUp to offer payment acceptance solutions for Ford commercial vehicles.