Dubai Economy has achieved a milestone in its Accelerators initiative by establishing a partnership to facilitate financial transactions through contactless payment.
The partnership brings Emcredit, a subsidiary of Dubai Economy, and the UK-based Object Tech Grp Ltd together under the Dubai
Economy Accelerators umbrella to develop and implement emCash, an encrypted digital currency, which people can use to pay for various government and non-government services.
Founded on the latest block chain technology, emCash will be the digital currency in emPay wallet, launched by Emcredit to support contactless payments. emPay allows UAE residents to make varied payments, from their daily coffee and children’s school fee to utility charges and money transfers, through the near field communication (NFC) option in their phones. With emCash, emPay users will have the option of a secure digital currency, and merchants receive such payments in real time without going through intermediaries.
Object Tech has now signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai Economy under which it will work with Emcredit to develop and implement emCash. Ali Ibrahim, Deputy Director General of Dubai Economy, said emCash would give a financial identity to contactless transactions, reinforce Dubai as a competitive business destination, enhance customer happiness and accelerate Dubai’s evolution into a smart economy.
“A digital currency has varied advantages – faster processing, improved delivery time, less complexity and cost, to name a few. It will change the way people live and do business in Dubai, and mark a giant leap for the city in harnessing game-changing innovations to improve ease of business and quality of life. We are delighted to have Object Tech as our partner in this initiative and the Dubai Economy Accelerators programme. Obtaining approvals from other UAE authorities will be taken into consideration if required,” said Ibrahim.
Commenting on the partnership, Muna Al Qassab, CEO, Emcredit Limited, said it is aimed to create the right ecosystem for the deployment of a digital currency, which will be advantageous to the user, merchant and the overall economy alike.
“Customers can choose between two payment options on the emPay platform – the existing dirham payment or emCash. While the dirham payment goes through normal settlement procedures, intermediaries and costs, emCash payments are settled directly between the user and merchant. emCash thus gives real time value movement and merchants can pass the cost benefit to the emCash holder. It also reduces fraud as well as inflation since currency is issued in real time based on actual demand,” explained Al Qassab.
The block chain technology deployed allows for distributed and shared ledgers so that control over payments is not limited to any single member in the emPay ecosystem and transactions are recorded instantaneously, added Al Qassab.
"We're delighted to be working with EmCredit and Dubai Economy on the EmCash project. The fast paced environment and incredible willingness to adopt innovative technology has made Dubai the perfect place for us to do business. This project is a great example of the ambition we have met here, together we are essentially creating a whole new economic ecosystem. It will harness blockchain technology to make financial transactions, cheaper, faster and more secure while demonstrating the huge advantages of embracing this technology for governments, business and customers alike. This is a key step towards creating a truly connected city, said Tom Morgan, Director & Co- Founder of Object Tech Grp Ltd.
Together, Emcredit and Object Tech will develop a competitive, accountable and legally compliant emCash ecosystem. A number of associated products to protect emCash wallet and digital documents, enable direct real-time settlement and peer-to-peer lending, and provide credit rating based on the distributor ledger of emCash will also be developed.