Emcredit, Dubai’s official government credit bureau, has partnered with Pundi X, a blockchain payment provider, and Ebooc Fintech & Loyalty Labs LLC, to facilitate digital currency payments in the city.
Residents and citizens of Dubai will soon be able to pay their bills, school fees, and make retail purchases using digital payments with a stable digital currency, emcash.
Once the digital payments are live, the city will become the first global capital to offer citizens an option to make digital currency payments.
Emcash, backed by the Dubai Department of Economic Development, is Dubai’s official digital currency.
The move will also enable consumers to make digital payments while using government portals and services, telecommunications, and at government shopfronts.
A bespoke Pundi X POS device will be responsible for the transactions. The device, produced by ebooc fintech & loyalty labs for the exclusive use of emcredit, will help it run a digital equivalent to UAE’s official currency, Dirham [AED].
Pundi X’s partner in the Middle East, Ebooc, is the first Emirati fintech company, and provides blockchain-based technology solutions in the financial sector. The announcement brings Dubai one step closer to being a blockchain innovation center.
XPOS devices are set to be launched at shopfronts in a progressive manner, with numbers increasing over the years.
An emcredit spokesperson said that becoming the first global capital to offer digital currency payments to its citizens was a historical moment for the nation. He said:
“It confirms Dubai’s status as an international tech hub. Deploying cutting-edge technology such as blockchain is a key priority and is delivering benefits to our citizens in the form of convenience and securities to customers and merchants across Dubai.”
The spokesperson also mentioned that the decision came after a directive from of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice-president and Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai.
Zac Cheah, the CEO and Co-founder of Pundi X, also was optimistic of the bright future for Dubai in the blockchain ecosystem. He said that it was a great feat for his company to be able to work in the “most advanced economy in the Middle East”. Zac added:
“We are very proud to partner with emcredit and to support its vision for supporting its customers through technological innovation.”
The Co-founder and CEO of ebooc, Abdalla Al Shamsi, also seconded Zac’s view and added that the company is extending its reach by being the exclusive partner of Pundi X.
Sunil Malhotra, Co-founder of ebooc, and managing director of BChain, said:
“emcredit-ebooc–Pundi X partnership will deliver a differentiated customer experience through innovative POS products and service for consumers in Dubai bringing together various service providers under one platform.”
The service will be available to citizens and residents of Dubai after the technology is approved by government authorities this year. About 100,000 devices are expected to be launched in the next three years.