The UAE is set to roll out next year the new real-time payment platform to facilitate financial transactions. 

The new Instant Payment Platform (IPP) will be implemented in a phased approach and will launch in the first quarter of 2023 with a pilot group of licensed financial institutions, according to a statement on Thursday. 

The initiative, which will process payments and fund transfers in the UAE around the clock and in real time, was discussed in a recent meeting of the Central Bank of the UAE with banking sector CEOs and representatives of Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group in the country. 

“The meeting highlighted the financial sector digitalization and its ambitious targets, and the implementation of the new [payment platform],” the statement said. 

The IPP seeks to ensure safe, innovative and convenient electronic payments in the UAE. It is expected to benefit consumers and businesses and make the UAE a leading cashless economy. 

The UAE has seen a growing demand for services that allow customers to make cashless payments in real time. 

In 2021, around 21.1 million transactions worth AED 51.7 billion ($14 billion) were coursed through the Instant Payment Instruction (IPI) system, more than double the previous year’s 9.6 million transactions worth AED 20.9 billion, according to the central bank. 

IPI allows customers to make instant payments in the UAE currency to another bank account in the UAE. 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)