Sunday 30, April 2017 by Nabilah Annuar

Emirates Digital Wallet launched

Emirates Digital Wallet, a unique platform established by 16 of the UAE’s leading banks, has been formally launched at the Seamless Middle East conference.

Emirates Digital Wallet paves the way for cashless spending, transfer and storage of money for everyone living and working in the UAE. It brings together best practise from a wide variety of payment systems around the world, and provides a unique solution tuned in to the needs and characteristics of the UAE’s local environment.

Commenting on the launch, Maki Vekinis, General Manager of the Emirates Digital Wallet, said, “This is an exciting and ground breaking project for the UAE. While there are many payments solutions using new technology out there, none have the buy-in of leading national banks, none have been constructed from the ground up in co-ordination with government, and none allow instant transfer of cash to vendors.

“What we are creating is a new cash for the 21stcentury, cash that does not need a visit to an ATM, or cash that does not fill your pocket or wallet. This is a new movement both to reduce and ultimately eliminate cash from the system, and to allow even those without bank accounts to enjoy the convenience, security and peace of mind of having cash without the physical frustration and risks it often entails.”

The new system, to be rolled out as an app from the last quarter of this year, provides a free to use, highly convenient, safe and efficient way of making payments without the use of physical cash. It responds to the UAE’s smart government initiative by providing a simple to use and interconnected payments platform using smartphones and other handheld digital devices.

Emirates Digital Wallet has been developed over the past two years under the umbrella of the UAE Banks Federation, which created a special committee for its member banks to contribute ideas and suggestions to and formulate the ideal solution for the United Arab Emirates. The UAE Central Bank has also played a crucial role in providing advice and guidance on how the platform should be constructed and operate to meet the highest regulatory standards.

Emirates Digital Wallet LLC has been incorporated as a company and has a nine member Board of Directors representing its shareholder banks. Its Chairman is Mohammed Al Jayyash, Chief Service Officer of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. It is working with EDC (Electronic Documents Centre—EDC, a joint venture between Emirates Post Group and ABBA Electronics) who has partnered with Master Card to deliver the service. Mastercard is a global leader in creating and opereating payments systems around the world.

Maki Vekinis added, “We have selected Seamless Middle East as a milestone for the roll out of the Emirates Digital Wallet because of its focus on Payments, Ecommerce and Retail in the region. This conference provides a very fertile environment for us to introduce the system to many of our key stakeholders and partners of the future.”

The trading brand for Emirates Digital Wallet will be announced in the near future.


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