UAE: Cashless payments are growing faster than expected, says top official


Photo: Wam
Photo: Wam

Dubai - The rapid transformation happening in the UAE is also being captured in various global reports.

By Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli

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Published: Wed 28 Jul 2021, 12:49 PM

Cashless payments are growing faster than expected in the UAE in the wake of the pandemic crisis, according to a top ministry official.

“The increasing shift to digital payments is associated with the efficiency of the country's infrastructure on regulatory framework and the reflection of the growing confidence among consumers and businesses in the UAE,” said Abdulaziz Alnuaimi, Assistant Undersecretary at the UAE Ministry of Economy, who was speaking at the second Digipay Summit organised by Khaleej Times in Dubai on Wednesday.

“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," he said.

"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.”

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.


>> Pandemic speeds up UAE’s transition to cashless ecosystem

The 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 also 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.

“The UAE government is taking concrete steps to establish a robust, digital economy by capitalising on the benefits of digital transformation," he added. "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, among 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," he said.

"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.”

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