Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: UAE Banks Federation, the sole representative and unified voice of UAE banks, affirmed its keenness to further efforts to advance the payments ecosystem in light of the unprecedented technological transformations taking place in the world. During its participation at the event, the Federation explained that innovation in the field of payments is reshaping the global economy, as it is the foundation of doing business and a mode of interaction between various business sectors locally and globally.

UAE Banks Federation, the founding partner of the third edition of the MEA Finance Payments Leaders Conference and Awards, reviewed the initiatives and efforts undertaken to develop payments in the UAE under the direct supervision of Central Bank of the UAE, which places payment development at the top of its priorities.

The event held recently at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel - JBR in Dubai welcomed more than 300 government officials and business leaders from regulators, banking and finance, technology, and fintech to discuss the evolution of payments in the region, future trends that promote efficient and secure payment systems, ways to meet the growing expectations and requirements of different customer segments, and the role of innovation initiatives and efforts by banks, financial institutions, payment providers, and technology solutions in consolidating the UAE's position as a global financial hub.

Mr. Jamal Saleh, Director General of UAE Banks Federation, underlined UAE Central Bank's initiatives in the field of payments to meet the needs of stakeholders in line with the National Strategy for Payment Systems, launched in 2019. The strategy aims to develop innovative payment solutions to enhance the customer experience through the instant payment platform, thus strengthening the UAE's leading position in technological development, innovation, flexibility and dominion in the banking and financial sector. Central Bank of the UAE is developing the payment infrastructure to ensure wider acceptance of cashless payment methods, provide payment and settlement services and enhance transparency and financial stability.

During his keynote speech at the MEA Finance Payments Leaders Conference & Awards, the Director General of UBF said: "The continuous development of payments systems is essential as it forms the core of the global economy, impacting trade, business and the rest of the economy. Payment has seen extraordinary evolution throughout centuries from the barter age to currency, to cheques and cards, to the current rapid growth of digital wallets, cryptocurrencies and instant transfers."

He added: "Payments contribute to stimulating innovation in areas as diverse as the development of blockchain technologies, artificial intelligence and biometrics, which are not only important for reshaping payments but also driving comprehensive development processes in various sectors," explaining that "the development of payments is not only a matter of technology, as it represents a driving force for financial inclusion, stimulating innovation, enhancing security, and supporting economic growth."

Mr. Jamal Saleh, Director General of the UAE Banks Federation, said: "Payments are one of the main pillars of trade and economic growth at the local, regional and global levels. With the vast transformations taking place in the world of payments, we must approach them with a clear vision, as well as the importance of guiding stakeholders, including banking and financial institutions, technology companies and individuals, with the principles and standards of justice, security, transparency and governance, and complying with them to ensure a safe and seamless experience for all."

Given the vital role of payments in global trade and economic development, UBF established the Steering Committee and the National SWIFT User Group to improve payment performance and enhance the efficiency and security of the payment system and bank transfers. The Group, which is the first of its kind in the MENA region, is a platform for exchanging views and insights needed for decision-making and benefiting from the knowledge and expertise of SWIFT members in the development of banking. The Union also established the SWIFT User Training Centre to train and empower human resources and raise performance standards to keep pace with international best practices in payments.

Participants in the third edition of the MEA Finance Payments Leaders Conference and Awards highlighted several current topics, including the role of regulators in providing a legislative and regulatory environment that stimulates the development of payments, the acceleration of instant payment solutions, the ability of financial institutions to keep pace between meeting customer requirements and ensuring a secure and seamless system with attractive returns, the role of technology and cloud computing in the development of payments, and the application of ISO 20022 standards for payments.


UAE Banks Federation (UBF):

Established in 1982, UAE Banks Federation (UBF) is a professional representative body comprising 59 members of banks and organizations operating in the UAE. UBF advocates the interests of all its members and enhances cooperation and coordination between them in order to elevate the UAE's banking ecosystem for the benefit of members, customers, and the overall UAE economy.

UBF's mission and objectives are focused on representing its members and defending their rights and interest. UBF provides a platform for cooperation and exchange of ideas and expertise among its members and plays a major role in raising public awareness about the contributions of the UAE banking sector to the economic and social development of the country.

UBF has a 22-member Advisory Council consisting of CEOs and General Managers from member banks and institutions, which oversees the implementation of UBF's policies and activities. The CEOs Council also makes directional decisions through UBF's General Secretariat for UBF's 26 technical and 3 advisory committees, who in turn are tasked to discuss all issues relevant to the UAE banking and financial services ecosystem. The UAE Banks Federation also includes a Consultative Council, which consists of chief executives of other member banks.

For further information, please contact:
Sooyin Lee
UAE Banks Federation