Dubai eGovernment has announced the inclusion of two more banks, Dubai Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, to its ePay gateway during the GITEX Technology Week 2009 running until the 22nd of October. The banks now allow their clients to electronically pay dues incurred on e-services anytime and anywhere through the gateway’s ‘Direct Debit’ facility.
Direct Debit is a payment method introduced in 2006 within the ePay gateway initiated by Dubai eGovernment in collaboration with Dubai Commercial Bank, Union National Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. It can be applied to personal or corporate accounts. The latest additions thus bring the number of banks offering the service to five. The key advantage offered by the e-Pay gateway to users is its high level of privacy and security, as the system does not require customers to disclose their account details to third parties. Instead, ePay ensures that customers are directed to the internet banking website of their respective banks of choice.
Moreover, unlike credit cards, Direct Debit does not have a preset payment limit as the clients are offered the option of paying large amounts that exceed the limits set by typical credit cards. This makes the service the perfect choice for companies and a secure alternative instead of carrying money without incurring any additional liabilities or fees on users.
Commenting on the joining of the two banks to ePay, Ahmad Bin Humaidan, Director General of Dubai eGovernment, said: “GITEX is an important platform that identifies banks supporting Direct Debit service and underlines the role of IT and telecommunication in easing our daily activities and our lives in general.”
“This service reflects the rapid progress of Dubai towards building a knowledge-based integrated community, as well as enhancing financial flexibility which plays an important role in overcoming current economic challenges and circumstances. In this regard, we are seeking the expansion of ePay’s scope through collaboration with major banks and financial institutions. We aim to offer more channels for clients belonging to different sectors of society to easily pay for governmental transactions, twenty four hours a day,” he added.
Bin Humaidan noted the growing demand for ePay gateway services, explaining that it has achieved remarkable success over the past years as proven by the over AED1 billion it generated in 2008 as a result of facilitating over one million transactions. As of September this year, the gateway has serviced 1,060,000 transactions amounting to over AED1 billion.
Sameh Awadallah, Senior Vice President, Head of Branches, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, said that ADIB’s joining the list of banks contracted with Dubai e-Government reflects the bank's policy to provide the best services to its clients. This is in line with one of the most important values espoused by the bank which is to facilitate all customer transactions.
Awadallah stated that through this partnership, the bank is looking forward to activate other technical solutions in banking transactions and will launch more innovative services that make banking procedures much easier.
Musabbah Mohammed Al Qaizi, Head of Electronic Banking Services, DIB said: “Dubai Islamic Bank has always been at the forefront of innovation, offering customers a range of services at the click of a mouse. In partnership with Dubai eGovernment, DIB is pleased to offer our customers the benefits of this convenient mode of payment for over 200 government services. Dubai eGovernment and DIB are committed to providing enhanced services to our customers. As we explore further opportunities to widen the appeal ýof both the bank and Dubai eGovernment, we encourage customers to benefit from this service.”
Dubai eGovernment launched the ePay gateway back in 2003 as an innovative electronic channel to facilitate payment for governmental and private transactions. Only three departments initially availed of the gateway, but this eventually grew to 22 government and non-government departments by 2008. Over 20 UAE service providers currently use the platform for more than 200 e-services offered by government departments to their users, such as DEWA bill payments, ‘Salik’ recharging, and traffic fine settlements. The ePay method is compatible with Visa International’s “Verified by Visa” and Master Card’s “SecureCode” programs. Credit card data are not saved when an ePay transaction is made in order to enhance security.
It is worth noting that Dubai eGovernment was established as an independent government department via Law No. 7 of 2009 issued by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, this year. Responsible for supervising Dubai’s electronic transformation, Dubai eGovernment provides shared services like ePay to governmental departments in order to facilitate their electronic provision of services. This in turn promotes innovation and excellence in the various specialized fields involved in providing more than 2,000 various e-services to the public.
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