Online money transfer
'Aani', an instant payments platform operated by Al Etihad Payments, a subsidiary of the Central Bank of the UAE. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: You can transfer money within 10 seconds in the UAE, only using the recipient’s mobile number. No bank account number or IBAN (International Bank Account) number needed. The new ‘Aani’ platform was launched in the UAE on October 16, and it enables licensed financial institutions or banks to offer an instant payment experience.

The platform was launched by Al Etihad Payments (AEP), a subsidiary of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE).

Five benefits of the Aani platform

Here are the five main benefits of the platform:

1. Transfer money to a recipient using their phone number.
2. Request money.
3. Split bills.
4. Use Quick Response (QR) code payments at shops, businesses and restaurants. This system is expected to be introduced soon, according to the announcement by CBUAE.
5. Have the option to manage the payment requests that you are making or receiving, like clear pending payment requests, or decline or accept them.

It is important to note that the maximum limit on the amount of money that can be transferred in each transaction through this platform is Dh50,000.

How does the Aani platform work?

Aani only allows domestic transfers with licensed financial institutions in the UAE. So far, only eight UAE-based banks and financial institutions have partnered with the platform.

The instant money transfer system is only accessible through the smartphone applications of the participating banks. You can also download the Aani mobile app, which is available for Apple and Android devices. However to use the app, you must have an account with one of the eight licensed financial institutions.

The eight licensed financial institutions partnered with Aani are:

• Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
• Al Fardan Exchange
• Emirates NBD
• Finance House
• First Abu Dhabi Bank
• Habib Bank AG Zurich
• Mashreq Bank
• National Bank of Fujairah

Al Etihad Payments is planning to onboard more licensed financial institutions to join Aani by the end of 2024.

How to use Aani to transfer money

Step 1: Enrol for the Aani system through your bank’s mobile app:

If you have an account with one of the participating banks, you can enrol for Aani. Although the process for the enrolment is different for each bank, you must download the bank’s app and select the account (savings or current) you want linked to Aani. Once that is done, confirm your personal details like your Emirates ID and mobile number and enter your security PIN number or online banking password. As stated, the process may vary slightly depending on your bank.

Step 2: Receive the confirmation

Once you have successfully completed the first step, you will receive a confirmation via email from your bank that you have successfully enrolled on the Aani platform.

Now, you can start using the platform to transfer or receive money from other Aani users.

In order to do so, simply go to the ‘Transfers’ section on your bank’s smartphone application and you will find different services related to Aani listed on the app. These include:

1. Send money
2. Request money
3. Scan and Pay
4. Pending requests
5. Split bill

According to Al Etihad Payments the processing fee for transferring money will be determined by the individual financial institution.