June, 2024

UBF: SWIFT ecosystem development supports growth of UAE’s global trade

Abu Dhabi: UAE Banks Federation, the sole representative and unified voice of UAE banks, praised SWIFT’s continuous efforts to develop the payments ecosystem, the initiatives of the SWIFT User Steering Committee and its national group in the UAE that define the foundations of doing business locally, and the crucial role of the SWIFT ecosystem in the growth of global trade.

Mr. Jamal Saleh, Director General of the UAE Banks Federation and Chairman of the SWIFT User Steering Committee in the UAE, emphasised the importance of innovation in the field of payments in light of the rapid technological transformations that the world is experiencing and explained that the SWIFT User Group in the UAE plays an important role in enhancing cooperation, simplifying payment processes and digital transformation to meet the needs of the banking and financial sector, as well as in developing secure and efficient payment systems in line with Central Bank of the UAE’s proactive policy of the security and efficiency of bank transfers.

In his keynote speech at the annual SWIFT User Group conference in the UAE, the Director General of UBF said that Central Bank of the UAE’s initiatives in the field of payments contribute to meeting the requirements of various stakeholders and achieving the objectives of the National Payment Systems Strategy launched in 2019, which aims to develop innovative payment solutions and enhance the customer experience through the instant payment platform, thus strengthening the UAE’s leading position in terms of technological development, innovation, flexibility and security in the banking and financial sector.

“Emerging technologies and innovative solutions such as artificial intelligence, digital currencies, blockchain and biometrics are redefining payments, banking and financial transactions. Under the direct supervision of the Central Bank of the UAE, we at UBF are keen to leverage and develop payment technologies given their impact on global trade, business and financial inclusion and support economic development.”

Mr Jamal Saleh, Director General of the UBF, emphasised the importance of adhering to regulations and standards for security, transparency, and governance to ensure a safe and seamless experience for all. “With the growth of cryptocurrencies, it is imperative to establish an appropriate framework to ensure the efficient and consistent operation of new cryptocurrencies and existing payment systems,” he said.

The Director General of UBF also praised the digitalisation strategies of Central Bank of the UAE for the digital currency “Digital Dirham” and its role in strengthening the payment infrastructure in the country. The Digital Dirham provides an additional channel for payments and enhances financial inclusion and local and international payments, positioning the country as a leader in rolling out official digital currency. It confirms the UAE’s readiness to integrate payment infrastructures to accelerate digital transformation and create efficient additional channels for domestic and international payments, ensuring a flexible and reliable financial system.

He said, “The banking and financial industry is going through a crucial phase that offers many promising opportunities but also carries enormous challenges. As we support the digital transformation journey, we must strengthen cooperation to develop a resilient and inclusive financial ecosystem. In this context, the active participation of UBF member banks in the SIBOS Conference, the world’s premier financial services meeting and exhibition organised by SWIFT, which will be held in Beijing, China, from October 21 to 24, 2024, is an important step to enhance cooperation with leaders of financial institutions and technology providers worldwide. SWIFT enables more than 11,000 financial institutions in over 200 countries to communicate and exchange financial information in a secure and reliable environment, enhancing financial and trade exchanges globally.”

Mr. Jamal Saleh praised the role of the Steering Committee and the National Group of SWIFT Users in the UAE for developing capabilities to enhance various payment systems,  build qualified personnel capabilities and ensure continuous development to guarantee payment security. It is worth mentioning that the SWIFT User Training Center, which operates under the umbrella of the UAE Banks Federation and is the first training centre of its kind in the MENA region for SWIFT users, organises training courses to certify system users from members of the SWIFT User Group and UAE Banks Federation.

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