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E-Dirham Holds Panel Talk On Blockchainduring

Dubai, UAE, October10, 2017: Experts in banking and finance shared insights on the impact of Blockchain, one of the most disruptive technologies since the dawn of the internet, at a panel discussion organised by the e-Dirham team ofthe UAE Ministry of Finance (MoF) in partnership with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) during the ongoing GITEX Technology Week 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The panel discussion was a part of e-Dirham’s awareness initiatives which include an interactive talk by experts from financial and banking sector focused on highly relevant topics including latest trends in electronic payments. Amongst the panel members were Tony Joseph, Chief Information Security Officer; e-dirham team at Ministry of Finance; Ramana Kumar, Head of Payments at FAB; and Sultan bin Kharsham, Managing Director atPayCommerce ME FZCO; while Karen Remo, Managing Director of New Perspective Media, was the moderator for the panel. The panellists highlighted the phenomenal growth of Blockchain, a distributed ledger database based on cryptographic peer-to-peer (P2P) network. Driven by its transparent, cost-effective and time-efficient features, the Blockchain market worldwide is estimated to rise from $210 million in 2016 to over $2.3 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 61.5 per cent, according to a Markets and Markets report. High adoption across diverse application systems including payments, exchanges, documentation and smart contracts are leading to the fast growth of the Blockchain market. With the need for financial and banking transactions having transitioned from traditional to always connected systems, banking, finance and insurance sectors are witnessing the highest adoption and are also projected to dominate the market with the largest market share, the panellists noted. The UAE is also making strides in the adoption of Blockchain and Dubai is already working towards attaining its goal of becoming the world’s first government to execute all transactions on Blockchain by 2020. The transformative technology, considered a principal tool for establishing and supporting the digital economy all over the world, also assures an effective protection against the growing threats in the fields of data security and e-crimes. Blockchain is also considered a qualitative leap that will lead to the emergence of the second generation of internet offering tremendous opportunities for communities and individuals all over the world, as it is being widely adopted, said the panel members. The MoF,in partnership with FAB, is showcasing e-Dirham’s latest mechanisms and technologies in electronic payment systems in the UAE at the GITEX Technology Week 2017. Blockchain makes the organisations using it transparent, decentralised, efficient and secured. In the field of privacy, it allows making commercial and non-commercial transactions having without the need to share personal information. The World Economic Forum published a recent report titled “Blockchain will be the beating heart of the global financial system” which noted that Blockchain will lead to reduce the banking fees, minimizing the human errors, which, in turn, will immunise the global economy against bubbles.

About e-Dirham: The e-Dirham system is an initiative launched by the UAE Ministry of Finance in 2001, to provide an official electronic payment platform for collection of revenues and service fees of governmental and semi-governmental institutions. e-Dirham is a cashless payment system that adopts efficient, secure, state- of-the-art and world-class technologies; the first step in creating an e-government in the UAE. Since its launch, e-Dirham continues to innovate with the necessary upgrades needed to meet the aspirations and needs of its customers - both governmental institutions as well as individuals. In 2011, e-Dirham launched its second generation avatar, in collaboration with banking partner, the First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB). This enhanced the capabilities of the system by benefiting from FAB’s pioneering experience in electronic payment and revenue collection. e-Dirham is now characterized by its compatibility with global networks and methods of payment. The system’s flexible platforms easily integrate with e-government services, offering scalable and unlimited options to merge with the latest payment service applications. In line with the UAE’s move towards Smart government, e-Dirham systems support the latest mobile applications, offering the e-Wallet and payment through various other channels. The variety of choices and channels include the ‘Al Haslah’ pre-paid cards, ATM/CDM machines, POS terminals, e-commerce payment systems over the internet and through smart phones, as well as self-service e-kiosks. These meet the needs of all types and classes of end-users and corporate, while the channels are compatible with global payment methods including ‘Visa’. e-Dirham is especially characterised by its affordable cost, as compared with other methods of payment. Low, fixed amounts are charged for services like fee payments and topping up the e-Dirham pre-paid card. The system ensures full protection for all parties associated in a transaction.


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