The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) has announced a plan to introduce the country’s Instant Payment Platform (IPP) in the first quarter of next year.

The IPP will be launched in a phased manner with the participation of a pilot group of licensed financial organisations.

The proposed platform will provide UAE’s financial institutions and consumers with advanced payment services.

It will be designed to enable real-time payments and transfer of funds across UAE 24×7.

CBUAE governor Khaled Mohamed Balama said: “The CBUAE has set out to implement ambitious initiatives in financial infrastructure transformation and national payment systems in close cooperation with the financial industry officials.

“We encourage the financial sector to implement the innovative functionalities and transfer the benefits to the financial consumers.”

CBUAE started plans to launch IPP as part of the National Payment Systems Strategy (NPSS), which seeks to facilitate electronic transactions to help UAE transform into a cashless economy, according to the central bank’s Annual Report 2021.

In October last year, CBUAE reached an agreement with a consortium of firms that were chosen to implement IPP.

CBUAE originally planned to launch the first phase of IPP in October this year.

In the report, CBUAE said: “The CBUAE launched numerous fintech initiatives, which include the mBridge Platform to improve processing cross-border fund transfers, the National Payment System Strategy (NPSS) to modernise the payments infrastructure, a SME funding platform, and the Financial Services Cloud Infrastructure, with the objective of making the UAE a centre of excellence in MENA financial cloud services.”