Smart Dubai, a UAE government enterprise, recently announced it will be integrating blockchain into the country’s $3 billion digital payment platform, DubaiPay.
According to Mira Sultan Obaid Abdul Rahman, director of smart services enablement department at Smart Dubai, DubaiPay managed 9.4 million digital payment transactions in 2017, worth a total of $3 billion overall. It is currently used by 27 government and 14 non-government entities using the platform.
Smart Dubai announced its new program with a Twitter statement on the weekend of September 23. It said that the company was launching its ‘Payment Conciliation and Settlement’ system, which it says was “developed in collaboration with #Dubai Department of Finance as a #Blockchain upgrade to its financial system”.
In commenting about their announcement, Rhaman emphasized the security features of the new system, saying in a recent interview that, “There is no real-time monitoring of the transaction in the old system and with blockchain, the whole process can be monitored in real time. The DoF has to do some manual work such as exchanging files between them, banks and the entities before a final payment is made to the entity.
Avanaza Solutions, a software company supporting the finance industry, is providing distributed ledger software for the new payment system.
The first two government agencies to sign on with the blockchain program were Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority. Together they have already transacted a total of $5 million in payments using the new system.
Next in line to join the program are Dubai Police, Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Airports, Dubai Customs, Dubai Municipality, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Dubai Courts, and Dubai Holdings. A number of banks and other financial service organizations are also expected to become a part of this project in the near future.