MoF enhances status of e-Dirham system within UAE’s wider e-payment and collection network

ABU DHABI, 10th February, 2015 (WAM) — The Ministry of Finance (MoF), represented by the e-Dirham team, has said that it is committed to providing its customers with all necessary facilities to pay for government services through the e-Dirham system.

The MoF is also keen to provide technical support for the system, specifically by growing the number of auditors for government companies, conducting specialised studies which aim to identify the system’s activities and transaction processes, and increasing daily transactions and continually assessing the geographical location of the sale and shipment centers for e-Dirham cards within the UAE.

Saeed Rashid Al Yateem, Assistant Under-Secretary of Resources and Budget Sector at MoF has stressed the Ministry’s commitment to implementing an effective operational plan to support the e-Dirham system following the UAE Cabinet Decision No.02 of 2012, concerning service fees of the e-Dirham system. The MoF’s role is to facilitate the processing of transactions for e-Dirham customers.

With regards to the sale and shipment centres, the Ministry has added 25 new ATM and cash deposit machines to the e-Dirham network across the UAE, bringing the total number to 89. These machines allow customers to easily charge and recharge their e-Dirham card. The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has allocated 530 ATM and cash deposit machines offering the same services. This brings the total number of machines offering e- Dirham services to 629.

The number of Point of Sale, POS, and e-collection machines has reached 4,000, accepting all types of cards including ‘Al Hasila’ e-Dirham card, cards issued by other banks or cards supported by Visa or MasterCard.

The Ministry is also working on rechargable cards, scheduled to launch in the near future. It is also committed to providing innovative solutions and services to maintain the e-Dirham project’s ambitious and nationwide focus. The MoF recently launched 10 aanced e-kiosks which are more sophisticated and provide more services, allowing e-Dirham customers to pay for government services.

E-Dirham services are provided across all 126 NBAD branches within the UAE, with selected branches in Umm al Qaiwain, 42 service facilitation centres, 62 Aafaq Islamic Finance branches, and 765 printing houses.

Al Yateem said, “The studies and audits conducted by the Ministry on the e-Dirhams fees and operations enable us to keep up with the latest technologies and determine the future growth and requirements of ATM and cash deposit machines. These improvements stop customers paying extra charges when either charging or recharging their e-Dirham cards.” Saif Al Shehhi, Senior Managing Director, UAE Government and VVIP Clients, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, said, “As a strategic partner of the Ministry and the e-Dirham project, NBAD works in accordance with the approved plan to further develop and upgrade the system to eventually become part of a global electronic payment network. Despite the youth of the system, the project has already accomplished several successes with regard to the technologies used to collect government services fees, and the geographical expansion of the system across the UAE.” The e-Dirham system continues to affirm its importance in the rationalisation of the consumption of government financial resources, where the number of transactions processed through the website was 7,282,134 in 2014 with a total revenue of AED2,041,144,849. The number of transactions processed through POS reached 26,175,861, with a total revenue of AED4,739,769,510.

This brings the total number of transactions paid through the website, POS and e-collection payment to 33,457,995 with a total revenue of AED6,780,914,359 in 2014.

The Ministry celebrated the activation of the one millionth e-Dirham card during GITEX Technology Week 2014. The total number of activated e-Dirham cards is now 1,023,753.

Saeed Rashid Al Yateem also highlighted the fact that the studies carried out by the Ministry support efficient and continual upgrades. He said, “The e-Dirham system aims to raise the level of efficiency in delivering government services electronically, as well as reduce the costs and efforts needed for service providers and customers to benefit from it. In fact, results from the Ministry’s statistical study on the processing time of a transaction showed that it takes less than one second per transaction with the use of POS, compared to 1.18 seconds through the website.” The statistics of the e-Dirham system showed that the systems’ call centres and the technical support team carried out more than 102,000 operations in 2014. This empowers the system’s status as a safe nationwide project, implementing the smart government plan through the adoption of direct debit methods from bank accounts and linking them with the UAE Direct Debit System.