UAE Central Bank gives green light to UAE’s first paperless Direct Debit Marketplace

System allows consumers to make all their recurring payments in one place

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A Staff Reporter

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The UAE Central Bank. - KT file
The UAE Central Bank. - KT file

Published: Fri 17 Mar 2023, 5:11 PM

The UAE Central Bank (CBUAE) has given the go ahead for the country’s first paperless direct debit marketplace, to provide payers and merchants with an all-in-one solution to make regular monthly payments.

A communication to banks and financial institutions in the UAE confirmed that the Marketplace has received the green light to go live, saying, “We would like to announce that Direct Debit Marketplace (DDMP) will enact the role of a ‘special’ sponsoring entity, and will be included as a direct participant in UAEDDS.”


Developed by UAE-based FinTech company, Direct Debit System, the direct debit marketplace has been established to provide residents and citizens of the UAE with a safe, legal alternative to make all their recurring payments in one place. Accessed only through UAEPASS, the marketplace offers users peace of mind, with all payments facilitated through the platform being integrated with, and regulated by, the UAE Central Bank.

Ummair Butt, founder and CEO of Direct Debit System said, “We are delighted to be given the official go ahead and are grateful to the Central Bank and its leadership for allowing us to be part of its digital payments transformation agenda for the country. Since our soft launch in September, we have received incredible feedback from businesses who want to move to the paperless and digital transformation space. Our first merchant is set to accept its first Direct Debit payment in March 2023.”


It is predicted that direct debit can help over 96 per cent of monthly salaried people to stay out of debt and budget their salaries better, by paying monthly and avoiding quarterly bulk cheques. Payers can easily settle recurring expenses such as school fees, insurance, rent, gym memberships, and any other subscription-based expenses. The system is DESC (Dubai Electronic Security Center) compliant, with users’ data positioned safely behind government firewalls and systems, which are among the best in the world.

The marketplace is bank agnostic, which means that it does not affect a merchant’s relationship with their banking services provider. Marketplace provides added advantage to real estate companies by providing control over tenants ability to cancel direct debit during the period of tenancy.

With a fixed-fee structure, it is a cost-effective solution for all merchants who use cheques or credit cards to accept payments. DDMP issues a digital bounced DD report for merchants who wish to take the bounced payment matter to UAE Courts. The Marketplace also offers digital reconciliations for all Direct Debit payments, creating cost-time savings for participating merchants. Marketplace provides a sandbox environment to any merchant who wishes to test standardized APIs and integrate DD module into their Accounting System or CRM.

Butt added: “Our mission is to encourage a culture of monthly direct debit payments for all big or small ticket items, at very low cost to merchants and free of charge for payers. Although UAEDDS has the capability of payer-driven payments, taking that route poses an incredible challenge for merchants to identify and reconcile a payment popping up in their bank. It is our belief that because direct debit is an instrument to execute a contract of payment, the merchant must have control over terms, therefore initiate the DD payment process and retain the control. DDMP offers exactly that.”


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