UAE: Cashless payments are growing faster than expected, official says Filed on August 4, 2021

UAE set to become the first cashless country in the Middle East.

Cashless payments are growing faster than expected in the UAE in the wake of the pandemic crisis, said Abdulaziz Alnuaimi, Assistant Undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Economy, at the second Digipay Summit organised by Khaleej Times in Dubai on Wednesday.

“The increasing shift in digital payments is associated with the efficiency of the country's infrastructure on the regulatory framework and the reflection of the growing confidence among consumers and businesses in the UAE,” he said.

“In the United Arab Emirates, our visionary leaders have been supporting and encouraging both government agencies and corporations to digitise services, systems, and organisations even before the pandemic. Today, we're doubling down on what our leaders initiated long before a complete shutdown of the world. More than ever, we are keen on adopting the latest and most advanced technological tools and software and attracting the brightest minds. The launch of UAE’s digital government strategy is to ensure that the UAE government is digitised by design. This strategy is set to integrate all capacities, structures and opportunities,” said Alnuaimi.

The rapid transformation happening in the UAE is also being captured in various global reports. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), for instance, has ranked the UAE as the third-best country worldwide with regards to digital services’ rank and adoption. Cashless Countries report by a UK based price comparison website ranks the UAE as the eighth most cashless society in the world. According to the report, the UAE is likely to become the first cashless country in the Middle East, with around 83 per cent of the UAE’s population owning a debit card. There are four major e-wallets in operation in the UAE.

The UAE’s Ministry of Economy continues to support the government’s efforts to drive digital transformation and aid the country's transition towards a digital economy, said Alnuaimi, adding, “The UAE government is taking concrete steps to establish a robust, digital economy by capitalising on the benefits of digital transformation. The strategic plans of the National Economic Agenda are based on fostering a digital economy that creates high-value jobs as well as inbound and outbound investment opportunities across industries.”

The government services in the UAE today rely on digital technology, including e-Commerce, financial platforms, asset utilisation, communication services network, and cloud computing technologies, and others.

“Most federal ministries and local entities have set up online mobile payment channels in a secure cyber environment. A notable example is the secure National Digital Payment system launched by the UAE. This cyber secure system allows users to make payments through an innovative mobile application. The eDirham payment card also offers a wide range of benefits for users,” the Assistant Undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Economy said.


Suneeti Ahuja Kohli

Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli has been in Dubai long enough to call it her spiritual home. She loves to travel but plans to settle down in Koi Samui, Thailand eventually to spend her sunset years by the sea. For now, she writes frequently on personal finance, retirement planning, business news and features, health and almost anything assigned by her editor. Her sojourns can be followed on instagram (suneetiahujakohli), news and views on Twitter @suneetiahuja, and for the rest, there’s a Facebook account.

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