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Accenture to Develop UAE’s National Instant Payment Platform

Birender Singh

Birender Singh

Accenture, a leading global professional services company, has been selected to lead a consortium of companies to help the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) execute its National Payments Systems Strategy.

The decision has come at the right time, as new research shows that the digital payments in the UAE are expected to reach $14 billion by 2030. Accenture, along with SIA, which is now part of Nexi Group, and G42 Cloud, will build and operate the National Instant Payment Platform (IPP) of the United Arab Emirates over the next five years.

The new platform will lay the groundwork for transforming the digital financial ecosystem in the West Asian country. Once implemented, it will be the next generation system with a safe and convenient electronic payments system in the country. The first milestone in the national strategy is the IPP, which will allow real-time payments and fund transfers throughout the day.

Michael Abbott, who leads Accenture’s Banking practice globally, stated that their plan is to create a next-gen infrastructure for the country’s financial services, and build a robust digital ecosystem. The IPP will effectively provide an overall ease in commercial transactions and ensure the national tech industry is innovation focused. The project will affect large businesses, SMEs and also help building customer experience.

The IPP will be flexible and comply with best practices and international standards, including ISO20022. For consumers & businesses, it offers ease, speed and a seamless experience. It will also make the financial market infrastructure in the UAE future-proof.

Mario De Lorenzo, director of Central Institutions Sales at Nexi, said, “We are pleased to have been chosen by CBUAE to develop its new instant payment infrastructure. This important achievement, accomplished with Accenture, inspires us to take on challenging digital transformation programs for payment institutions in the UAE and region that improve their competitiveness and seize opportunities arising from the new frontiers of digital payments.”

The consortium will work on migrating the existing payment systems, operating the target financial market infrastructure, and providing the data center infrastructure. Apart from this, the consortium will also deliver many overlay services, including overhauling of current platforms, systems, and two active cloud-data centers and related infrastructure. It will enable new capabilities such as e-cheques, digitized cheque-based payments, and a payments application to accelerate adoption.

Talal Al Kaissi, CEO of G42 Cloud, said that the partnership symbolizes a key milestone in the nation’s economic progress. Their holistic solutions will ensure absolute efficiency for the platform, while their full-data sovereignty will provide maximum security. Other services that G42 will enable for the IPP are 24/7 support, scaling processes, dealing with latency issues, etc. The model that G42 has created specifically for the IPP will further ensure cost-effectiveness and innovations.

The digital payments systems are growing rapidly in the region. A survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2019 revealed that 60% of banks expected cash to account for less than 5% of total spending within the next half decade. The transformation that had already started got a boost during the last two years of the pandemic as customers chose to make more digital payments.

According to a study, the total transaction value in the digital payments segment is projected to clock $26,773 million in 2022, with digital commerce accounting for $16,733 million. It is expected to register a CAGR of 8.45% between 2022 and 2026, with the total amount projected at $37,033 million by 2026.