UAE to launch national digital cash replacement platform that works for both banked and unbanked consumers

Emirates Digital Wallet Klip digital cash
CASHLESS: The UAE’s Klip digital wallet is aimed at both banked and unbanked consumers

Both banked and unbanked residents of the UAE will soon be able to make instant cashless digital payments using a digital cash platform which they can either link directly to their bank accounts or add value to with cash at registered locations.

The Klip digital cash platform is a digital wallet being developed by Emirates Digital Wallet (EDW) as part of a nationwide initiative to eliminate the use of physical cash in the UAE.

It will allow users to pay for goods and services both online and in-store, send and receive money and obtain cash from ATMs.

“Though many new payments systems have succeeded in reducing the use of physical cash, all are dependent one way or another on having a banking relationship,” EDW says.

“Klip is different. It aims to eliminate payments still made in cash in the UAE by systematically addressing where and why such payments still exist. Whether for small items in shops, sending money to friends or family, or even giving your children pocket money, Klip is the UAE’s digital cash.”

With support from the UAE Banks Federation, the Central Bank of UAE and 15 UAE national banks, Klip has now entered its final round of testing before an “imminent nationwide launch”.

“The vision for Emirates Digital Wallet has always been to act as the catalyst in creating a society without any physical cash in circulation,” EDW chairman Mohammed Al Jayyash says.

“To get there, our mission involves implementing and managing a digital cash platform, inclusive of all banks, businesses and individuals, that seamlessly integrates and replaces physical cash.

“Introducing a country-wide digital cash platform is a complex operation. Extensive development, refinement and testing — alongside the continued support of the UAE Central Bank and UAE Banks Federation — has led us in delivering the capability of replacing physical cash with a digital equivalent.

“As we enter this final round of testing, we become one step closer to our society having no dependency on physical cash.”

Initially the digital wallet will be available only to UAE residents with a UAE SIM card. EDW adds that “future phases of development will include making Klip available to visitors to the UAE, linking it with credit and debit cards, and providing incentive schemes to enhance its real value and user experience, as well as its usage”.

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