The UAE Banks Federation has unveiled a key project which forms the main financial component of the Smart Government initiative announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in May 2013.
The “Mobile Wallet” project is the translation into reality by a committee set up by the UAE Banks Federation on behalf of the banking sector for the Smart Government initiative. In effect the project will provide users of mobile devices with an electronic equivalent of the traditional wallet, able to store, transfer money and pay for goods and services very conveniently from a common platform.
The Smart Government initiative aims to ensure that all key government services will be delivered via mobile phones and other advanced technology tools. Smart Government in the UAE is an advanced step of e-government, which aims to encourage government and government-related entities to provide creative solutions for round-the-clock, highly efficient and transparent services through mobile phone applications that meet customers' expectations.
Since earlier in 2013 a committee of the UAE Banks Federation has been working on the Mobile Wallet project to put together the mobile financial services strategy, and has now selected an external consultant who will help design the blueprint for implementation of the Mobile Wallet.
The consultant has been appointed through a competitive tender, and the framework for the roll out of the project - expected to take 12 months to complete - will be published after the design phase that will be concluded in March.
Banks involved in the UAE Banks Federation Committee include Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Emirates National Bank of Dubai, First Gulf Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Standard Chartered Bank, Mashreq, and Dubai Islamic Bank.
The Committee, chaired by Tirad Al Mahmoud, CEO of ADIB, has focused on the requirements from UAE banks to ensure that their systems support the Mobile Wallet, and that it can be applied throughout the economy. Furthermore, the UAE Banks Federation is in direct cooperation and coordination with the UAE Central Bank to make the project a success.
AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation, said: “We are very excited about the prospects for this highly significant project, which will revolutionise the lives of those who live in the UAE, and also have a significant impact on visitors to the country, subsequently, as we progress with this initiative.
“It puts the UAE ahead of the world by applying across the retail and commercial banking sector a solution that brings state of the art capabilities together with a vision for a modern and progressive nation. We will be seen as a model for others to follow.”
Tirad Al Mahmoud, CEO of ADIB, added: “The challenge that we were set to demonstrate how UAE banks can step up to make their contribution to the vision for the UAE’s future. The Mobile Wallet does just that, and I think it will be clear to all who use the solution now being created, and which will be presented in greater detail once the blueprint is published by the end of March, that this is a country that has the means and the appetite to lead the world with such advanced and collaborative thinking.”