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Emirates ID to include e-wallets in 2015

About Dh51m worth of transactions by UAE residents in 2015 will be through central bank’s e-wallet initiative

Abu Dhabi: UAE residents may be able to make payments using their national ID cards by 2015. About Dh51 million worth of payments or purchases made by UAE residents in 2015 will be through an e-wallet initiative by the UAE Central Bank.

The e-wallet system, an initiative as part of Central Bank’s draft strategic and operational plan 2014-2016, will use the national  ID card to identify users and replace cash for  financial transactions,  according to an joint announcement made by the  Central Bank and Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) on Tuesday.

The Central Bank estimates that about Dh1.7 billion in cash  will be  issued in the UAE in 2015 and 3 per cent  (Dh51 million) will be transacted through e-wallet system.

The  system will enable payment for purchases, either through  the points of sale or online using  the  Emirates ID card.  It  is part of the mutual cooperation plans of  the Central Bank and Emirates ID to utilise the smart features of the ID card and activate its advanced applications in the  UAE financial sector.

Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, UAE Central Bank Governor, and Dr Ali Mohammad Al Khoury, Emirates ID Director General, and other senior officials discussed it at a meeting in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. They discussed forming a joint committee between both parties to draft a strategic co-operation  agreement.

"Emirates ID is exploring the ways to prevent possible misuse of ID card [in e-wallet system], such as identity theft and other frauds. We are exploring a foolproof security system to avoid any risks," Al Khoury told Gulf News.

The ID card will be mandatory for banking transactions very soon and  that will help banks save a lot of time in many transactions, he said.