Making payments with ID cards not very far

Making payments with ID cards not very far

Cards and Payments Middle East meet begins

Visitors at the Cards and Payments Middle East 2014 conference in Dubai on Tuesday. — Supplied photo

The UAE has secured a prominent global position in developing smart identity systems and providing the finest services to the customers on the basis of the data stored in the population register.

This was affirmed by Dr Ali Mohammed Al Khouri, Director-General of the Emirates Identity Authority, during the 15th edition of the ‘Cards and Payments Middle East 2014’ conference. “The population register provides verifiable digital identity for each and every resident.”

Dr Al Khouri said the authority’s whole-hearted cooperation with the payments industry in the country resulted in the launch of a number of innovative projects such as the use of identity cards in withdrawing money from ATMs. “This cooperation will widen in the future, culminating in the use of identity cards for e-payment transactions at various sales outlets, and the banking sector as a whole.”

The digital transformation will enable the UAE to achieve a quantum leap in its competitive edge as it helps save millions of dollars that the public and private sectors lose as a result of fraud and related expenses to curb it.

“This will be done through actually linking smart phones and ID cards by downloading data into the phone chip so the user can complete his transactions and related fee payments using the cell phone.”

This will be a simple process that takes no more than entering a pass code, he stated. “You will soon see mobile phone users benefitting from identity verification data stored in their phones and completing transactions with the support of digital signature.”

Global e-trade

The total expenditure on smart payment systems across the world in outlets hit $4 trillion in 2013. “There are around 1.8 billion payment cards in operation in the world.”

Likewise, global e-trade is expected to register substantial growth in the next three years, increasing from $1.5 trillion currently to $ 2.5 trillion by 2018, he said. “The total number of purchases using cards is expected to reach 280 billion.”

Dr Al Khouri said the losses happening due to credit and debit card frauds across the world in 2012 had reached $11.27 billion, whereas the losses suffered by retail outlets for the same reason were to the tune of $580 million.

“These outlets spend $6.5 billion annually to fight debit and credit card frauds. The losses suffered by card issuers primarily happen at the point of sale as a result of fake card use.”

As for the traders, they suffer losses during transactions in which the cards are not provided, such as internet sites, contact centres or mail requests, he said. “Some 59 per cent of the transactions worth a total of $37 billion are completed using debit cards.

“And these are verified via normal signature. Eighty-five per cent of all fraudulent transactions happened using debit cards, which means that $1.15 billion worth of losses due to fraud, out of a total of $1.35 billion, involved hand signatures,” he explained.

The two-day conference will see more than 150 working papers, shedding light on the latest experiences and best practices in the smart e-identity card industry. More than 240 companies from 100 countries are exhibiting their products and services at the event taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

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