Dubai is looking at digital wallet technology to ease the friction of paying government fees for both businesses and consumers.
Reports on Monday (May 6) said Dubai’s Department of Finance (DOF) has collaborated with Smart Dubai and emaratech to launch a digital wallet that facilitates digital payments to the government. Designed for use by businesses and consumers, the digital wallet enables government service fee payment via the government’s Dubai Pay digital payment platform.
Dubbed noqodi, the digital wallet vows to facilitate payments “quickly, easily and securely.”
“DOF is keen to raise government customer happiness by providing more secure and easy-to-use payment options, such as noqodi eWallet, though cooperation with Smart Dubai,” said the Department of Finance’s Director General Abdul Rahman Saleh Al Saleh in a statement. “We commend Smart Dubai’s efforts in developing the digital infrastructure and the provision of smart payment channels.”
Users can connect their eWallets to their bank accounts to upload credit, adding to a range of payment options via the Dubai Now smart application Dubai Pay.
The Smart Dubai program was launched in 2014 as a government initiative, with the goal of transforming Dubai into “the happiest city on Earth” via digitization initiatives. Part of that effort means expanding consumer access to financial and banking services.
While the effort reveals Dubai’s embrace of cutting-edge technologies, the government is not necessarily on-board with every digitization trend. In 2017, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) issued a warning about initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the risks they pose to investors.
“The DFSA would like to make it clear that it does not currently regulate these types of product offerings or license firms in the Dubai International Financial Centre to undertake such activities,” the organization said on a post on its website at the time. “Accordingly, before engaging with any persons prompting such offerings in the DIFC, or making any financial contribution toward such offerings, the DFSA urges potential investors to exercise caution and undertake due diligence to understand the risks involved.”