By Vijaya Cherian
New agreement between UAE ministry of finance and industry and Dubai e-government will give people the choice of paying for e-government services with the e-dirham.
The UAE Ministry of Finance and Industry has got together with Dubai e-government to extend the use of the e-dirham online. The agreement was signed by H.E. Dr. Mohammed Khalfan Bin Kharbash, UAE minister of state for financial and industrial affairs and H.E. Dr. Khalifa Mohammed Ahmed Sulaiman, head of the Ruler’s Court. According to the agreement, the Ministry will produce and distribute the e-dirham cards and provide programmes to link it with the payment gateway while Dubai e-government will work towards the integration of these programmes on their internal systems. The technology, including the telephone lines required to link the ministry’s e-dirham programmes into the system, will be provided by Dubai e-government, which will also be responsible for upgrading and maintaining the system regularly.“This agreement between a Federal Ministry and Dubai e-government to introduce a uniform and systematic mode of payment for e-services is a significant step in the UAE’s move towards greater automation and is in keeping with the norms of the new economy,” said Dr Sulaiman. “It is important that we are working together at this early stage to lay down the stringent regulations to extend the use of the e-dirham for the payment of e-services offered by the government departments. This will enable us to formulate fool-proof policies and systems that will create transparency and trust among users.”With the new agreement, Dubai e-government portal’s e-pay system will give users the option of making online payment by credit card, e-dirham, cheque or cash. “The UAE is fast becoming one of the most wired states in the region with a high degree of Internet penetration and computer usage among the residents. As we move towards greater automation and use of the Internet for both business and individual purposes, it becomes imperative to devise uniform systems that are both dependable and secure,” explained Dr. Kharbash. “This agreement is the result of a crucial need to establish standardised systems that will enable people to conduct financial transactions with the government departments through secure and speedy electronic payment modes,” he added.