Network International, a payment solutions provider in the Middle East, has successfully showcased the use of the national identity cards issued by the Emirates Identity Authority in mainstream financial applications , according to a statement on the Emirates ID Authority (EIDA)’s website.
The demonstration of the Emirates ID card’s capability as a payment tool was held in the presence of His Excellency Prof. Dr. Ali Mohamed Al-Khouri, Director General of the Emirates Identity Authority, and Abdulla Qassem, Chairman of Network International. The demonstration was also attended by senior officials from both organisations, including Bhairav Trivedi, Chief Executive Officer, Network International.
This was among the few demonstrations worldwide, where a government-issued identity card has been used to enable financial transactions. It also marked a significant step forward in achieving financial inclusion in the UAE by enabling cash withdrawals at ATMs and payments to be made at domestic point of sale (POS) terminals, using the national ID card. Emirates Identity Authority and Network International also affirmed that the security of transactions will be ensured through foolproof cardholder authentication that includes the user’s biometric details.
During the demonstration, a specimen Emirates ID card was successfully used to make a ‘purchase transaction’ at a POS terminal, exhibiting the dual use of the card. In addition, the capability to link the national ID to the UAE’s Wages Protection System (WPS) was also showcased. This landmark development comes close on the heels of a memorandum of understanding signed between the Emirates Identity Authority and Network International.
H.E. Dr. Ali Mohamed Al-Khouri, Director General of the Emirates Identity Authority, said, “This innovation means that it will soon be possible for users to use their ID cards for withdrawing money from ATMs and complete other financial transactions. We are working with a number of organisations to operationalise the identity card’s use in electronic payments, including the UAE Central Bank and the ministries of Finance and Labour. These partners will play a leading role in disseminating this initiative and preparing the ground for the actual implementation.”
Abdulla Qassem, Chairman of Network International, said, “The UAE is known for setting new benchmarks  in various fields and creating exemplary standards that are being emulated across the region. The imminent use of the Emirates ID card for financial applications is another excellent example of the major strides being taken by our country in an effort to achieve greater financial inclusion, which could be a catalyst to sustained economic growth. Network International will be playing a pivotal and constructive role in promoting financial inclusion through our partnership with Emirates Identity Authority.”
Bhairav Trivedi, Chief Executive Officer, Network International, said, “The Emirates ID Card is already recognized nationwide as a unique identification tool to regulate and standardize the resident population of this country, and today we have taken the first step towards enabling its use for the financial services sector. The successful demonstration is an important milestone for the UAE, and a significant achievement in the country’s vision of financial inclusion for everyone. Network International is delighted to partner with Emirates ID Authority in this landmark project.”
Ayesha Al Rayesi, Executive Director, Central Operations, Emirates Identity Authority, was present during the demonstration, alongside Paolo Zambonini, Executive Vice President-Product and Innovation, Network International.