UAE: The world is at your fingertips

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UAE: The world is at your fingertips
The world of transaction banking and payments is being transformed

The UAE keeps up-to-date with innovation to make life better for residents


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 30 May 2019, 10:24 AM

Last updated: Thu 30 May 2019, 12:30 PM

As one of the world's most innovative nations, the UAE is striving forward with an ambitious agenda of growth and dynamism. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2018 by the World Economic Forum, the UAE is ranked first in the world for mobile broadband subscription rate, and second in the mobile subscription index, which highlights both the country's high level of commitment to digital development and its fast pace of mobile adoption.
According to the International Migrant Stock Data, the Middle East is a vital and rising economic hub bringing people together from across Europe, Africa and Asia and lifting them towards prosperity. International migrants working and living across the region represent a large part of the population and collectively send billions of remittances back home.
In the UAE, 88 per cent of the population is international migrants, followed by Qatar at 75 per cent, Kuwait 72 per cent, Bahrain 51 per cent, Oman 41 per cent, Jordan 40 per cent and Lebanon 34 per cent, according to the World Bank.
The UAE remits a sizeable volume of the total amount of remittances, which makes the country the third largest person-to-person remittance market in the world, according to the World Bank's Outward Migrant Remittance flows.
"Our commitment to the Middle East is a step forward to a more prosperous and globally connected future. Our digital services support globally-integrated living without leaving anyone behind. We use cutting-edge technology to simplify money transfer.
"Our systems automatically handle complexities from compliance to volatile currency exchanges so users can transfer money 24/7 to nearly every country across the world, with the touch of a few buttons," said Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO, Western Union.
"Our systems are also designed so that customers at any level of financial experience can use any channel they like, be it digital or cash, online or offline," he said.
"Digital tools mean, at their essence, more ways to reach more people and more opportunities for all. The more the UAE fulfils its ambitious plans for economic transformation, the greater will be its need to interact with the world.
"More workers from overseas, more tourists visiting its shores, more students going abroad to study, all require better flows of international capital," added Osama Al Rahma, CEO, Al Fardan Exchange LLC.
Cross-border transactions are the pulse of any economy, and yet it remains plagued by a lack of transparency and traditional payment methods, leading to a slower remittance process and waste of both time and money.
By 2022, the value of cross-border transactions is expected to nearly triple to over $54.8 trillion from $20.5 trillion in 2012, and the number of transactions will grow from 9.9 billion to 20.7 billion, according to a Boston Consulting Group analysis.
In the case of international transfers, it can take between two to five working days depending on the type of payment being made, the currencies involved, and time of day the request is made.
One of the reasons for this time delay, according to experts, is the large volume of remittance transactions requested in a day at the same time. It takes banks time to process all the transfer requests, and they aren't processed on the same day received.
Also, depending on the destination country, the transaction may need to be confirmed with a regulatory system, which may cause further delay.
However, the world of transaction banking and payments is being transformed. Technological advances, shifting customer behaviour and expectations, as well as regulatory changes, are advancing the transformation.
Newer, efficient and faster international payment networks are providing innovative solutions, simplifying and speeding up international transactions for businesses.
Digitalisation converges the physical and digital worlds or cash and consumer transactions, to optimise efficiencies, provide consumer convenience and elevate the consumer experience.
Many transactions that are currently carried out at a branch can be migrated to the self-service channel, and this includes international remittance transactions.
By moving this transaction to the self-service channel, consumers are not bound by hours and can carry out a transaction any time of the day at their convenience.
Furthermore, they save time with the automated processes, which reduces the need to queue to complete a transaction.

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