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Ministry of Finance strengthens trust in e-Dirham security features

e-Dirham system receives international certification of compliance in data security

e-Dirham facilitates more than 80 million transactions since launch of 2nd generation services

His Excellency Saeed Rashid Al Yateem, Assistant Undersecretary of Resources and Budget Sector, Ministry of Finance

His Excellency Saeed Rashid Al Yateem, Assistant Undersecretary of Resources and Budget Sector, Ministry of Finance

Abu Dhabi, UAE, May 21, 2016: The e-Dirham system, launched and managed by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in partnership with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, recently received the Certification of Compliance in Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This certification conferred by Trustwave Holdings, is particularly for the system’s 11 components and for the security compliance of its Triple Data Encryption Standard which have been found to be in accordance with the international standards.

The certification covers the e-Dirham system’s various services and its infrastructure, including electronic payment gateway, electronic clearing and settlement, hosting and secure storage of data as well as all devices and cards.

Since its launch in 2001, the e-Dirham system has become more advanced. It is designed to offer all kinds of smart payment services with the one e-Dirham card account. The card can be used from basic point of sale purchases to paying the fees for government and non-government services.

A downloadable mobile application enables the e-Dirham card holder to set up an e-wallet. This electronic wallet, in which one can store money for any payments, eliminates the need to always present the physical card.

With every new service offered under the e-Dirham system, the Ministry has added a new layer of security. The latest certification by Trustwave Holdings makes e-Dirham one of the most reliable payment platforms in the UAE.

Saif Ali Al Shehhi, Senior Managing Director, UAE Government and VVIP Clients, National Bank of Abu Dhabi

Saif Ali Al Shehhi, Senior Managing Director, UAE Government and VVIP Clients, National Bank of Abu Dhabi

Trustwave Holdings is an information security company that serves more than three million business customers around the world with demand threat, vulnerability, compliance management services and technologies.

In the past five years since the launch of e-Dirham G2 (second generation), transactions for more than 80 million electronic services under the federal government have been done through the system. Individuals, companies and government entities in the UAE are utilising e-Dirham for payment and revenue collection.

His Excellency Saeed Rashid Al Yateem, Assistant Undersecretary of Resources and Budget Sector, Ministry of Finance, said: “The certification affirms the reliability and credibility of the e-Dirham system as a smart and convenient substitute for cash. This achievement presents a significant milestone in the continuous process of making e-Dirham an efficient payment and collection tool for both government and non-government fees.”

“The Ministry of Finance has the strategic goal of ensuring that the provisions of all our services are aligned with the international standards of quality, operational efficiency and transparency,” Al Yateem said.

“For convenience and high level of security, MoF has always worked to sustain the trust placed in the e-Dirham system by thousands of users. By getting the PCI DSS certification, we assert our stance to continue fighting payment card data compromise, thus making automated payment systems safer for the benefit of all,” he added.

This certification process took eight months of comprehensive assessment, in which, the certifying agency went through every detail of the e-Dirham system.

Saif Ali Al Shehhi, Senior Managing Director, UAE Government and VVIP Clients, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, said: “This certification validates e-Dirham’s ongoing efforts to enhance competence and reduce vulnerabilities. It puts an additional layer of confidence to the e-Dirham system as we keep our successful partnership with clients and affiliates, with the aim of establishing a safe and smart cash substitute that stands distinguished among the wide array of payment solutions available in the UAE.”

“The certification lowered the risk of fraud and the resultant expenses including those of legal settlements and penalties for non-compliance. At the same time, it enhanced the customers’ reliance on the security features of the system,” Al Shehhi stated.

“e-Dirham is now an approved vendor of quality electronic and smart payment services. Gaining the PCI DSS certification proves the staying power of this system. It bolsters the confidence that thousands of customers across the UAE have in e-Dirham as the preferred mode of payment,” Al Shehhi added.

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About e-Dirham

The e-Dirham system is an initiative launched by the UAE Ministry of Finance in 2001, to provide an official electronic payment platform for collection of revenues and service fees of government and semi-government institutions. e-Dirham is a cashless payment system that adopts efficient, secure, state-of-the-art and world-class technologies; the first step in creating an e-government in the UAE.

Since its launch, e-Dirham continues to innovate with upgrades needed to meet the aspirations and requirements of its customers, both government institutions and individuals. In 2011, e-Dirham launched its second generation avatar, in collaboration with its banking partner, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD). This enhanced the capabilities of the system by benefiting from NBAD’s pioneering experience in electronic payment and revenue collection.

e-Dirham is now characterised by its compatibility with global networks and methods of payment. The system’s flexible platforms easily integrate with e-government services, offering scalable and unlimited options to merge with the latest payment service applications. In line with the UAE’s move towards Smart Government, e-Dirham systems support the latest mobile applications, offering the e-wallet feature and payment through various other channels.

The variety of choices and channels include the ‘Al Haslah’ pre-paid cards, ATM/CDM machines, POS terminals, e-commerce payment systems over the Internet and through smartphones, as well as self-service e-kiosks.

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