Finance ministry targets e-Dirham as main payment method

Finance ministry targets e-Dirham as main payment method

The UAE’s Ministry of Finance is looking to have the e-Dirham as the primary method of payment for government services on the internet or through mobile apps, according to Younis Al Khoury, the ministry’s undersecretary.

In a press conference held on Monday, Al Khoury said the ministry was in the process of collaborating with the Central Bank, and is looking to expand its work with government departments to promote the use of the e-Dirham.

The e-Dirham is now an accepted method of payment at various ministries including the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Energy, and Ministry of Environment and Water, among others as well as federal and local entities.

Payment through the e-Dirham cards is done similarly to that through credit cards. However, Al Khouri said that the e-Dirham cards provide a better advantage as there is a standard charge of Dh3 upon payments. Credit cards charge a certain percentage of the payment amount.

The ministry is also looking to work with Emirates Identity Authority in order to tie in payments so users can pay for government services through their Emirates ID.
The ministry would consider expanding its points of sale in the future, should demand increase, Al Khoury said.

The e-Dirham cards can be purchased from the Ministry of Finance as well post offices, and other authorised sales points including the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

In February, the ministry announced that the number of transactions processed through the website reached over 7.28 million in 2014, with a total revenue of Dh2.04 billion.

This brings the total number of transactions paid through the website, POS, and e-collection payment to over 33 million, which generated a revenue of Dh6.78 billion in 2014. The revenues mark a seven per cent increase from 2013.