Stock Money exchange dirhams currency
Money exchange centre in Dubai. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Photo Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: My wife was expecting a money transfer of about Dh50,000 from Kuwait through Al Ansari Exchange.

The payment reached fast enough but pain started the minute she presented her passport as identity document for payment.

The person at the counter looked at the passport and then the Visa page. My wife’s name on her passport was clearly mentioned as Amrita Kalra and on her Visa Sticker it was mentioned as Amrita Kalra Gurbaksh Singh (Gurbaksh Singh being her father’s name). The lady on counter argued that payment cannot be made as the payment is for Amrita Kalra and your name is different Amrita Kalra Gurbaksh Singh on Visa. We tried to explain to her that Visa has father’s name, which fortunately is clearly showing in Indian passports on last page. She did not budge. We spoke to branch manager of Al Diyafa Street, but no change in their standing. We spoke to call centre and then to their senior manager at call centre. Nobody was ready to understand and were stuck to their stand.

It was annoying and frustrating, as it was 9.30pm and we had been waiting to sort out the issue since 8.45pm.

Finally, we gave up at 10pm and called the remitting person to go to his exchange company in Kuwait and get the name changed to Amrita Kalra Gurbaksh Singh so that we can get the payment here.

It was not the end, as Amrita has been in the UAE for the past 30 years; her previous “expired” Visa was having my name and it read Amrita Kalra Gurpreet Kalra. They were looking at that and getting further confused.

I’m not sure why Al Ansari Exchange company doesn’t understand basics of how names are recorded on Visa stickers in the UAE, which surely doesn’t change the person’s name.

From Mr Gurpreet Kalra


The management of Al Ansari Exchange responds: Thank you for following up on this matter and for reaching out to us. As a trusted media platform we do appreciate your transparency and endeavour to deliver the truth for the benefit of the public and the corporates alike. We have in fact immediately contacted our customer who has raised the complaint and explained to him that, as an exchange company, we are required to undergo a thorough and strict process to ensure that we protect our customers. As the amount was over a specific threshold we have to go through an enhanced due diligence process and since the name of the beneficiary did not match the name on the Emirates ID we simply requested the customer to correct the beneficiary’s name as per the Emirates ID. The full amount was then released to the beneficiary.

At Al Ansari Exchange, we consistently go out of our way to provide our customers with an outstanding and seamless customer experience in line with our internal procedures and regulations set by the Central Bank of the UAE. We hope the above clarifies the matter to your satisfaction.

Mr Kalra responds: I tried to highlight is - my wife’s name is Amrita Kalra and funds came on her name. We presented passport as an ID proof and not Emirates ID card. The name on the passport is Amrita Kalra and the payment from Kuwait came in the name only, which was Amrita Kalra without any ID number then why should they check our Emirates ID and not passport.

There is no regulation where it says the name of beneficiary should be as per Emirates ID and cannot be as per passport.

They just wanted to make life difficult for customer.

I have Emirates ID cards with Amrita Kalra, Amrita Kalra Gurpreet Kalra and also Amrita Kalra Gurbaksh Singh. We can’t keep changing her name as it is Amrita Kalra.

Al Ansari Exchange responds: Since the beneficiary’s name is a fairly common name and the payout amount is relatively large, our organisation reserves the right to take any precautionary verification measure it deems necessary to safeguard the security of our customers and their money. We have therefore requested to check the Emirates ID and found a mismatch between the name on the Emirates ID, the passport and the transaction.

As a regulated financial institution, we must guarantee that the funds are disbursed only to the rightful recipient.

Should our valued customer still feel the need to raise a complaint, then they may do so on the Central Bank of the UAE’s website and we will in turn work closely with the Central Bank to reach an amicable solution as per their directives.

We respectfully reiterate our regret for any inconvenience this has caused Mr and Mrs Kalra and hope for their understanding.

(Process initiation: June 8. Response from organisation: June 10. Process completion: June 15.)