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Payments and Settlements

Payment Systems are considered an important pillar in the financial market infrastructure. Accordingly, the Central Bank of the UAE leads the establishment, development, operation and oversight of the payment systems in the UAE. The different services of these financial infrastructure systems are offered to participating institutes, which extend such services to their different customers.

The Central Bank of the UAE owns, operates and manages the following payment systems, categorized into Large-Value Payment Systems (LVPS) and Retail Payment Systems (RPS):

- LVPS:

The UAE Funds Transfer System (UAEFTS)

- RPS:

The Image Cheque Clearing System (ICCS)

The UAE Wages Protection System (UAEWPS)

The UAE Switching System (UAESWITCH)

The UAE Direct Debit System (UAEDDS)

The UAE Payment Gateway System (UAEPGS)

Digital Payments in the UAE

Connectivity of banks, exchange houses and e-wallets:
  • Facilitating cross-institution payments for customers

  • Enabling settlement of real time payments in the form of credit transfers and direct debits.

  • Value-added services: Facilitating payments through electronic direct debit authorisation, e-cheques and an addressing scheme using a mobile phone number, email address or other unique identifier.

  • To strengthen the UAE's role as a global financial hub, using the National Payment Systems Strategy (NPSS) to ensure safe, innovative and convenient electronic payments to make the UAE a leading cashless economy.

The statistical releases containing our latest monthly data:
  • Cash Deposits \ Withdrawals at the CBUAE

  • UAE Fund Transfer System (FTS) Statistics

  • UAE Image Cheque Clearing System (ICCS) Statistics

  • UAE Wages Protection System (UAEWPS) Statistics

  • UAE Direct Debit System (UAEDDS) Statistics

  • UAE Switching (UAESWITCH) Statistics

  • UAE Payment Gateway (UAEPGS) Statistics

Longer-term CBUAE historical statistics:
  • Cash Deposits \ Withdrawals at the CBUAE

  • UAE Fund Transfer System (FTS) Statistics

  • UAE Image Cheque Clearing System (ICCS) Statistics

  • UAE Wages Protection System (UAEWPS) Statistics

  • UAE Direct Debit System (UAEDDS) Statistics

  • UAE Switching (UAESWITCH) Statistics

  • UAE Payment Gateway (UAEPGS) Statistics

Innovation: Aber (Joint Digital Currency and Distributed Ledger Proof of Concept)

Project Aber was an initiative launched by the CBUAE and Central Bank of Saudi Arabia (SAMA) to explore the viability of a dual-issued single digital currency as an instrument of domestic and cross-border settlement between the two countries. The two Central Banks have completed project Aber and issued a final report on their findings.

The high-level objectives of this initiative were:

  • To explore, experiment, and gain a deeper understanding of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and analyse its maturity;
  • To explore an alternative DLT-based cross-border payment solution that can overcome inefficiencies in existing cross-border interbank payment systems;
  • To understand and experiment with the dual issuance of a Central Bank digital currency; and
  • To benchmark findings against those of other Central Banks.

 

Innovation Project Aber

Payment and Settlement Systems

A payment system can be considered as an arrangement based on a formal agreement governing a group of participating members, established on an identified set of rules and standardised measures for the transmission, clearing, netting and/or settlement of monetary obligations arising between its members.

This arrangement might also include the payment system operator as well as the settlement institute – which, in some instances, can be the same entity. In the case of CBUAE-owned payment systems, as described in the following sections, the CBUAE is currently both the operator and the settlement institute.

Generally, payment systems can be categorised into two types - those handling critical and large-value payments, and others that handle low-value (retail) ones.

These two categories are better known as Large-Value Payment Systems (LVPS) and Retail Payment Systems (RPS).

 

The CBUAE owns, operates and manages the following payment systems:

 

Large-Value Payment Systems (LVPS)

A Large Value Payment System (LVPS) is a funds transfer system through which large-value and/or high-priority funds transfers are made between the participating entities (Participants) in the system for their own account, or on behalf of their customers. The CBUAE owns and operates such a system known as the UAE Funds Transfer System (UAEFTS).

 

 

 

 

Retail Payment Systems

A Retail Payment System (RPS) typically handles a large volume of relatively low-value payments in such forms as cheques, credit transfers, direct debits and card payment transactions. The CBUAE owns, operates and manages the following Retail Payment Systems:

Cross-Border Payments

A cross-border payment system facilitates payments where the financial institutions of the payer and the payee are located in different jurisdictions. Membership and participation in the system follow an agreed set of participation requirements, rules and specified standards that govern the relationship between the participants and the business rules affecting the related transactions, such as the currency or currencies of transaction, the exchange rate and the settlement institute.

 

Two of the main cross-border payments in the region are AFAQ and Buna.

Cross-Border Payments
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Research and Statistics

The CBUAE has a dedicated function to gather accurate, insightful and up-to-date data on the UAE’s financial and monetary system.

The mandate of the Research and Statistics Department (RSD) is to compile and produce quality data in a timely manner, in line with internationally-recognised methods. Providing access to actionable economic research and analysis to support appropriate decision-making across the financial and monetary sector.

Payments and Settlements Regulations and Standards

Related Regulations


EIBOR

Regulations Regarding Emirates Interbank Offered Rate (EIBOR) Submissions

06 May 2020


EIBOR

Amendments to The Regulations on Interbank Rate Submissions By EIBOR Panel Banks

06 May 2020


Pre-2012 Regulations

The Central Bank of The UAE Board of Directors' Resolution No. 132 / 5 / 2004

10 August 2018


Pre-2012 Regulations

Regulations Regarding Emirates Interbank Offered Rate (Eibor) Submissions

15 April 2018


Pre-2012 Regulations

Regulations Regarding Bank Loans and Other Services Offered to Individual Customers

23 February 2011


Pre-2012 Regulations

Regulation for classification of loans and determining their provisions

11 November 2010


Pre-2012 Regulations

Regarding the Regulation for the Controls of Allowing Banks Operating in the Country to Establish Banking Service Units, Staffed by Banking Service Advisors

30 October 2004


Pre-2012 Regulations

The Central Bank Board of Directors' Resolution No. 58/3/96 Regarding the Regulation for Finance Companies

14 April 1996


Pre-2012 Regulations

Federal Law No. (6) of 1985 Regarding Islamic Banks, Financial Institutions and Investment Companies

15 December 1985


Pre-2012 Regulations

Union Law No. (10) of 1980

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Last updated on: Tuesday 26 July 2022

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