On 5th June 2014, the UAE Banks Federation announced the formal launch of the implementation of the Mobile Wallet project with the blessing and support of the Central Bank. The project, first unveiled in February, has been developed by a special committee of 9 member banks under the Chairmanship of Tirad Al Mahmoud, CEO of ADIB. It works under the aegis of the UAE Banks Federation in close coordination & cooperation with the designated committee of the Central Bank.
“The Mobile Wallet supports a critical national goal, which is for Smart Government to touch every individual in the UAE. The UAE will be potentially the first country in the world where the whole banking sector supports such a programme, which will impact everyone’s daily lives in one way or another,” stated the Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation, Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, in a press release. “Enabling government services to be paid for using state of the art technology, but going one stage further by also providing residents with the ability to make purchases, store money and transfer it to others in a very secure environment is unique,” he added.
- The implementation of the project is being supported a leading global technology consultant, and will be carried out over the coming year.
- It will comprise a number of phases, the first of which will be to put in place mobile payments and money transfer platform for smart phones and other digital devices.
- The Mobile Wallet is the financial component of the Smart Government initiative announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in May 2013.
- Smart Government has identified over 90 services provided by government departments requiring payment.
- The Mobile Wallet has been designed to allow these to be made from a purpose-designed platform that interfaces with all banks operating in the UAE.
- The project also incorporates the facility for smart phones and other digital devices to be utilized for cashless purchasing in UAE retail and other outlets, as well as a means to store and transfer money.
- The UAE Banks Federation committee which has been co-ordinating the project since June 2013 on behalf of all 49 banks comprises representatives from ADCB, ADIB, CBD, DIB, ENBD, FGB, MasreqBank, NBAD and SCB.
“We have already received very positive feedback on the project from a wide range of merchants and retail outlets around the country. We strongly believe that the popularity of the system will be driven by the uptake of users, and the ease of payment and intuitiveness of the system which supports it,” commented CEO of ADIB and Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation, Tirad Al Mahmoud, in the same release. “Additionally, the system has been designed to make usage available to all levels of society, including those who do not have bank accounts”.
Once operational, the Mobile Wallet will be managed by a separate entity supported by UAE banks and regulated by the Central Bank. Future phases of the project will make the Mobile Wallet available to visitors to the UAE, and will further extend the usability and functionality of the system, stated the release.