The Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) is about to start testing the use of the Emirates ID Card for retail payments.

Eida says it is working with banks in the UAE to allow citizens to pay securely with their ID cards and to allow mobile payments by linking the ID cards and smartphones.

Dr Ali Mohamed Al Khouri, director general of Eida, said: "The new card is equipped with high-tech chips, which will change the map of the retail sector in the UAE.

"The chip will not store any personal information about consumers and thus there is no violation of the privacy of customers."

Eida also said that it had seen rising interest amongst financial institutions in using the cards for ATM withdrawals.

"Our co-operation with the payments industry in the country resulted in the launch of a number of innovative projects such as the use of the identity cards in withdrawing money from ATMs. This cooperation will widen in the near future, culminating in the use of the identity cards for e-payment transactions at various sales outlets," added Al Khouri.

The director general of Eida went on to say that the introduction of the cards would save millions currently lost to fraud and give the UAE a competitive advantage in the financial world.

"This digital transformation will enable the UAE to achieve a quantum leap in its competitive edge as it helps save millions of dollars that the public and private sectors lose as a result of fraud and related expenses."


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