CBUAE launches digital transformation programme

Tuesday 14 February 2023 08:51 CET | News

The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has launched a Financial Infrastructure Transformation (FIT) programme to expedite digital transformation within the financial services sector.


Based on the information provided in the press release, the FIT programme aims to support the financial services sector, promote digital transactions, and enable the UAE to become a financial and digital payments hub, as well as a centre of ‘excellence for innovation and digital transformation’ by encouraging innovation, collaboration, as well as competition within the financial sector.

The CBUAE and how they aim to impact digital transformation

As detailed in the announcement, the programme consists of the implementation of nine key initiatives, set to be done in stages, with the initiatives being:
  • Card Domestic Scheme: the first UAE unified, secure, and efficient card payment platform to ease ecommerce growth and digital transactions in the region.

  • eKYC: a secure, user-friendly platform for customer onboarding and ongoing customer due diligence.

  • Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC): for cross-border payments and domestic usage.

  • Open Finance: to drive innovation, competitiveness, and collaboration within the financial services sector via interconnectivity and interoperability amongst players and institutions.

  • Supervisory Technology (SupTech): to support regulatory and supervisory processes.

  • Innovation Hub: a collaborative platform for the engagement, research, and development of fintechs.

  • Instant Payments Platform: a secure, efficient, and comprehensive payment platform to support financial inclusion and a cashless society via digital payments.

  • Financial Cloud: a secure, resilient, and scalable financial infrastructure.

  • ‘Excellence’ and Customer Experience.

The first stage includes a series of digital payment infrastructures and services of the likes of a Card Domestic Scheme launch, an Instant Payments Platform, and the issuance of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) for cross-border and domestic uses. These digital payment initiatives are believed to help drive financial inclusion, promote payment innovation, security, and efficiency, as well as achieve a cashless society.

The Central Bank of the UAE has launched a Financial Infrastructure Transformation programme to expedite digital transformation within the financial services sector.

Amounting to the FIT programme, the CBUAE is set to strengthen its digital expertise through the adoption of advanced supervisory technologies and data management solutions, aiming to implement ‘robust’ supervisory processes and help ensure financial stability.

Initiative context and future plans

Looking to assist the financial industry with moving forward to the digital age, the FIT programme’s next stage will be to have several digital infrastructures developed and implemented, including establishing the Financial Cloud, eKYC and Open Finance Platforms. These digital infrastructures are believed to help improve regulatory compliance, reduce operation costs, and boost innovation and customer experience, in addition to strengthening security and operational resilience.

The FIT programme creates an important platform in support of the ‘We the UAE 2031’ vision and the National Digital Economy Strategy and is set for full integration in 2023. Furthermore, the announcement details that it reinforces the CBUAE’s mission of improving monetary and financial stability and consumer protection through means of strong financial infrastructure and digital technologies adoption.

H.E. Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the CBUAE stated in the press release that the FIT programme is an embodiment of their leadership’s directions and aspirations towards the digitalisation of the economy and the development of the financial sector. The enterprise is looking forward to supporting a ‘thriving’ UAE financial ecosystem and its future growth and is set to collaborate with its partners to implement the programme, achieve its goals, expedite the adoption of digital services within the financial sector, and attract talent.

As per press release information, additional details and implementation updates of each FIT programme pillar are set to be announced in due course.

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Keywords: banking, payments , fintech, digitalisation, Open Finance, CBDC, eKYC, cloud, instant payments, SupTech, card scheme, financial inclusion, digital payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: The Central Bank of the UAE
Countries: United Arab Emirates
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