The Klip digital cash platform could soon be rolled out across the country after entering its final round of testing in June, its owner Emirates Digital Wallet said.
This nationwide initiative was set up by 15 UAE banks with the support of the UAE Banks Federation and the Central Bank of the UAE following the issue of new rules governing stored value and electronic payment systems. However, no official timeline for a potential launch was given.
“Introducing a countrywide digital cash platform is a complex operation … extensive development, refinement and testing … [have] led us in delivering the capability of replacing physical cash with a digital equivalent,” Mohammed Al Jayyash, chairman of Emirates Digital Wallet, said.
“As we enter this final round of testing, we become one step closer to our society having no dependency on physical cash,” he added.
The Klip app can be used to pay for any goods and services at merchants that have a point of sale system issued by partner banks. It does not require users to have a bank account – anyone with an Emirates ID can send or receive money to a mobile wallet on their phone, and users can also link credit or debit cards to it.
“The UAE banking industry has already made tremendous progress in this regard, adopting digital technologies to create a more robust, efficient financial ecosystem,” Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, UBF chairman, said.
The launch of Klip is the next “significant milestone in our digital transformation journey, as we seek to reduce the circulation of cash in the UAE”, removing the inherent risks and costs associated with it, Mr Al Ghurair said.
The mobile wallet market is booming in the UAE with global giants such as Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay having already made significant inroads alongside local players like Etisalat Wallet and Beam Wallet. Chinese payments services like WeChat Pay and Alipay are also becoming more widely accepted.
Mobile wallet payments are predicted to grow at a compound annual rate of 24 per cent to $2.3 billion (Dh8.4bn) by 2022, according to TechSci Research.
Emirates Digital Wallet’s founder banks include Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Al Hilal Bank, Al Masraf, Bank of Sharjah, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Dubai Islamic Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Invest Bank, Mashreq Bank, National Bank of Fujairah, National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah, National Bank of Umm Al Qaiwain, Sharjah Islamic Bank and United Arab Bank.