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UAE banks sign up for mWallet

Technology allows users to connect with banks through secure mobile phone app

UAE banks sign up for mWallet
The mWallet project will allow mobile payments from phones for UAE bank customers.

The UAE's 16 equity partner banks have agreed to begin implementation of mWallet technology.

The mWallet will allow users to connect with UAE banks through a secure mobile phone app to replace traditional cash payments, providing a way to receive, store and transfer money.

The platform has been developed with support of the UAE Banks Federation through a committee that represents the 16 partner banks. It will be regulated by the Central Bank of the UAE.

The signing of memorandum of understanding "marks an important milestone in the development of the project, and essentially signals the beginning of the implementation stage", said the UAE Banks Federation in a statement. "[The agreement] signifies full agreement by the banks of their stake in the mWallet's operation and its operational structure," said the statement.

UAE Bank Federation chairman Abdulaziz Al Ghurair said: "The creation of this platform is a global first being fully supported by the banking sector in UAE , and its unique features will enable it to provide a vital path towards a future cashless payments and cash free environment in the UAE.  It is an essential and integral building block of the Smart Government initiative and will give the UAE a head start in transforming its economy for the benefit of residents here."

One of the project's objectives is to aid the "unbanked" segment of the UAE population to access to basic financial services such as receiving funds or making payments. A future phase will see mWallet services offered to UAE visitors.

"We set out to build a system to revolutionise the way payments are made in the UAE, and we have succeeded in meeting all of our objectives," said Al Ghurair. "The Central Bank has been very supportive through helping us ensure that the mWallet's structure meets their regulatory requirements, and the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has also played an essential role in making sure that the system meets the required standards for the UAE's mobile operating environment."

The 16 equity partner Banks are NBAD, ADCB, ADIB, Mashreq Bank, DIB, CBD, RAK Bank, UNB, Al Hilal Bank, SIB, Al Masraf, Bank of Sharjah, Invest Bank, UAB, NBF and NBQ.

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