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Dubai uses blockchain to upgrade finance system

The system was created in collaboration with the Dubai Department of Finance to enable real-time processing of payments and expedite transactions

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Blockchain is a key technology in Dubai's smart transformation
Blockchain is a key technology in Dubai's smart transformation

The Smart Dubai Office (SDO) has launched a blockchain-powered payment reconciliation and settlement system, developed in collaboration with the Department of Finance.

 

The new system introduces blockchain technology into the department’s processes, allowing transactions to be performed accurately and in real-time and economising time and effort.

 

Eliminating manual reconciliation

 

The Department of Finance’s current procedures rely on having staff members physically go through payments collected from various portals to manually reconcile and settle them, deducting the fees due to the department and then transferring the remaining amounts to the relevant authority, a time-consuming process that could take up to 45 days.

 

“Smart technologies continue to infiltrate every aspect of human life and societies; virtually everything we do today relies fully or to some degree on an advanced technology once considered ‘disruptive’,” said Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, director general of SDO.

 

“Blockchain is one of the most promising of these technologies, attracting more investments every year.”

 

The strategy seeks to increase government efficiency by transferring 100 per cent of government transactions to the blockchain network.”

 

“Ensuring the success of the payment reconciliation and settlement system requires fostering collaboration and synergy among the various government entities that have joined – or are planning to join – the system, considering that it calls for each entity to open its data and work hand-in-hand with other departments from across the Government spectrum,” Dr Aisha concluded.

"Correctly applied across various key sectors, we believe blockchain has massive potential to achieve our emirate’s ambitions for a fully-fledged smart transformation"

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) were the first government agencies to join the system. The two entities have already processed a combined total of more than five million transactions using the advanced blockchain-powered system.

 

In the coming period, more Government entities will be joining the System, most notably: Dubai Police; Roads and Transport Authority (RTA); Dubai Health Authority (DHA); Dubai Airports; Dubai Customs; Dubai Municipality; Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM); Dubai Courts; and Dubai Holding, among other local Government bodies and a number of prominent banks and financial services providers.

 

Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment (SDG) said: “We, at Smart Dubai, consider technology to be a means for us to help improve people’s quality of life and spread happiness among them. Correctly applied across various key sectors, we believe blockchain has massive potential to achieve our emirate’s ambitions for a fully-fledged smart transformation.

 

“The new and advanced payment reconciliation and settlement system offers Dubai Government entities many significant benefits,” he added. “Besides enabling near real-time reconciliations and settlement, the system eliminates friction from financial processes through automation and minimising human intervention. It allows for clear visibility of funds; immediate disputes and claims resolution; transparency and immutability of financial records.”

 

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