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Wed 14 Mar 2012 02:11 PM

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Payments firm 'in talks' to bring direct debit to UAE

CashU talking to several UAE banks in bid to introduce direct debit payments

Payments firm 'in talks' to bring direct debit to UAE
Direct debit payments are popular in UK, Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands.

CashU, a Dubai-based online prepaid and mobile payment solutions firm, has said it is in talks with several UAE banks to introduce direct debit payments systems, its CEO has told Arabian Business.

The firm signed a deal with Emirates NBD in October to introduce automatic payments between account holders and merchants and expects the service to be available by the first half of 2012, said Martin Waldenstrom.

“We are in talks with several banks about direct debits so instead of using a credit card or any other means of payment [account holders] will be able to do a direct debit from their account. We have already signed an agreement with Emirates NBD so that will start working very soon…. it’s been delayed but during the first half of the year it’s going to be up and running,” he said.

“We are in talks [with other banks] but we haven’t signed agreements with them yet. They are all UAE. We have had discussions with banks in Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan,” he added.

Direct debits, a common form of payment in the UK, Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands, give merchants the authority to claim money from a bank account to pay regular bills or repay loans. They can also be used for one-time payments in the mail order business and at points of sale.

British consumers made nearly 5.7bn payments, totaling GBP£4.3 trillion (US$6.7 trillion), using direct debits in 2011, according to Bacs.

“Once we get one or two banks on board, I think it [direct debit payments] will take off - the interest is there. I think CashU can be a catalyst for this to happen because many of the banks are fairly reluctant to cooperate,” said Waldenstrom.

“We already have many more merchants than they [the banks] have so if they integrate with us from day one we can give them access to 7,000 merchants both domestic, regional and even international,” he added.

Dubai-based CashU is operated by Jordan’s Jabbar Internet Group.

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nice 8 years ago

That's great but would you trust those you were contracting with to take the right amounts? I wouldnt.

gordon 8 years ago

it is a process and takes time, but as night turns to day, suspicion turns to trust and if it makes life easier...then I am for it.

Tristan de Ferluc 8 years ago

A bit of a change in a cash culture but really efficient. I already had the opportunity to write here in April 2009 on that subject, especially in the context of banks. It saves time to everybody and regarding confidence, it is quite simple : the company will debit amounts according to a specific schedule you will know about at the beginning, so that there should be no surprise for you. If debits are based on consumption hypothesis, then payments are reviewed once a year and adjusted to real consumption. Depending on what will be implemented, there is also a possibility to specify a ceiling amount in the direct debit authorization meaning the company authorized will not be able to debit above the mentionned amount.

In Europe, people use this payment method to pay bills (water, electricity, gas) and even home rentals. You have a doubt or a problem, you just call the company to clarify and to check.

Kohinoor 8 years ago

Ofcourse, you can use it on everthing including service charges and district cooling. You give once, and will be taken care monly once or even twice if we like for your entire lifetime, who knows even after you are gone.

henry 8 years ago

Yes in Europe people use it with no problems or at easilyt able to resolve the issue if they occur.

However this is the UAE are we are talking about, even the simplest of tasks become a nightmarethrough incompetence and lack of customer service.