The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has announced that the development of the eDirham transformation vision has commenced, with its services scheduled to be launched during the first quarter of 2020. The plan is part of the ministry’s efforts to enhance the outcomes of the eDirham 2000-2020 and to allow the eDirham transformation vision to contribute to the realisation of the UAE vision 2021. This, in cooperation with banks operating in the UAE, will in turn enhance the effectiveness of financial systems used for national payments and their financial settlements.
The announcement was made following a meeting chaired by HE Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of MoF and attended by a group of presidents and executives of 22 national banks from across the UAE. HE Saeed Rashid Al Yateem, Assistant Undersecretary of Resources and Budget Sector, along with MoF’s leadership also attended the meeting.
HE Younis Haji Al Khoori stressed the importance of the eDirham transformation vision in enhancing the quality of implementation and provision of government services, in line with the government excellence system, as well as the key take outs from consultancy reports and studies on digital payment. By way of collaborating with the banks operating in the country, the latest developments of the eDirham system were discussed, as was the planned journey for its transformation, foremost of which is the requirements to coordinate and collaborate with all the providers of digital payment solutions and approved banks in the country.
HE explained: “The Ministry of Finance has made significant strides in terms of contributing to the achievement of the UAE digital government vision by having the eDirham as one of its most important products, specifically for the electronic payment of government service fees in the country. This aims to form an integrated platform shared by all banks, ministries and government entities for the purpose of collecting service revenues and digital settlements.”
HE added: “The meeting brings together the banks and financial institutions operating in the country to apprise them of the planned eDirham transformation journey, which will see an innovative, strategic update to the existing range of solutions offered by the eDirham system. The eDirham was founded in 2000, and the first generation e-Dirham cards were launched in 2001. In 2011, the second generation was launched, and is expected to reach its optimal outcomes in 2020. It will primarily facilitate the use of digital payment applications, as well as adopt a secure e-payment ID to improve service delivery.”
In October 2018, the Ministry of Finance launched the eDMobile application – the new innovative eDirham initiative to support smart government programs – that enables customers to access eDirham services and e-payments. With eDMobile customers can pay all charges through their smartphones, website or point of sale. eDMobile is an electronic wallet that electronically stores all the customers’ payment cards, essentially making it a replacement for plastic cards and a physical wallet, allowing users to make electronic payments without the need of a plastic card.
It is noteworthy that the revenues of the system during the first half of 2018 exceeded the projection of AED 11.8 billion, achieving a growth of 52.33% compared to the same period last year. The number of cards issued for eDirham services exceeded 3.7 million cards, while the number of receipts reached 11,385,661 in the first half of 2018.