|By Arabian Post Staff|New solutions to meet future needs and diversify the options are being integrated into the the e-Dirham system, top officials involved in the development of a national alternative to cash payment for government services in the UAE indicated.
Government revenues from the e-Dirham system during the first nine months of this year stood at AED 5.8 billion. The number of e-Dirham transactions rose by 20 per cent year on year, to reach 15 million transactions during the first nine months of 2016 as compared to around 12.5 million transactions during the same period in 2015.
The number of electronic services carried out through the e-Dirham system during Q1 to Q3 grew by 5.8% year on year. The system saw 28.9 million electronic services in the first nine months of 2016, as compared to 27.3 million transactions during the same period in 2015.
The number of e-Dirham cards issued till the end of September 2016 grew by 41 per cent to reach 2.25 million cards, as compared to 1.6 million cards issued till September 2015.
The number of electronic services carried out through the e-Dirham system since the launch of the second generation of e-Dirham in 2011 by Ministry of Finance, in partnership with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, has so far risen to 127 million, while the total value of the payment, settlement transactions and collection of revenues is around AED 27.5 billion.
Saeed Rashid Al Yateem, Assistant Undersecretary of Resources and Budget Sector, Ministry of Finance, said that the value and efficiency of the system would be increased by further digitisation of transactions and services, benefiting from the widespread usage of smartphones in the UAE. Better mobile payment options through smartphones were being made available to individuals as well as public and private sector companies in the UAE, he said.
“e-Dirham is one of the advanced systems that support cashless payment and collection means that include online and smartphone platforms, aligning to the smart government goals. The e-Dirham system provides comprehensive solutions that allow individuals and companies to carry out payment and collection transactions quickly, efficiently, precisely and safely”
Following the launch of its new services, the e-Dirham system has served more than 5,000 government service fee payment transactions at federal ministries and local departments. These fees can be paid by using the e-Dirham digital wallet or by direct debit from a bank account.
Within the framework of its innovative initiatives and in partnership with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the Ministry of Finance (MoF) recently launched the eDebit and eDirect services at the Gitex Technology Week 2016. These services enable payment of service fees and purchases through direct debit from the customers’ bank accounts, in addition to allowing users to top up eD-wallets through Internet banking.
Saif Ali Al Shehhi, Senior Managing Director of UAE Government Group & VVIP Clients, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, said taht the favourable performance of e-Dirham during the first nine months of 2016 reflects the consistent improvements in the system which has obtained the certification of compliance in Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). The certification was conferred for e-Dirham’s 11 components and for the security compliance of its Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES), making its components and structures in accordance with international standards.
Al Shehhi spoke of the system’s innovations to keep pace with the rapid changes in payment systems, given the importance of diversified payment options and the ease of carrying out transactions for promoting commercial activities.
“NBAD is working hand in hand with the Ministry of Finance to assess the potential of further developing the e-Dirham system to facilitate its use by clients of government departments, private companies and individuals. Our role at NBAD is to provide our extensive expertise in electronic payment and collection systems, creating solutions that ensure safe, easy and efficient transactions through relevant platforms and frameworks,” Al Shehhi added.
“This would further enhance user-experience and facilitate financial transactions through innovation as well as integrating new solutions with established systems while maintaining flexibility and developing capacity in order to serve future needs,” Al Shehhi said.