DubaiCard: A New Generation of Prepaid Cards for GCC


From April 2015, Dubai residents will be able to apply for personalised Mastercard-branded prepaid cards, known as DubaiCards, from over 200 self-service kiosks across Dubai. Holders will be able to make cashless payments both within the UAE and worldwide, at retail point-of-sale (POS) terminals and online, and access cash via ATMs.

John Sharman

John Sharman, CEO of Tuxedo Money Solutions, one of the founders of DubaiCard outlines, “Credit, debit and prepaid cards have seen considerable growth in Dubai over the past five years, in what has traditionally been a cash-based society, as a result of proactive government initiatives to encourage the use of electronic payments. The launch of the DubaiCard, however, marks a major step forward in availability and convenience.” The initiative is a tripartite development between Tuxedo, the UK-based international payments technology company behind the recently-launched Travelex SuperCard, National Pay and Atam, a market leader in kiosk-based solutions.

One of the biggest challenges in card issuance in any country is to ensure compliance with KYC (know your customer) regulations without compromising on consumer convenience. As Graham Foster, CEO of Atam explains, “DubaiCard uses a new-to-sector technology, called Smart Issuance. We make use of the full KYC strategy that is so well-tested in the banking and finance sector.” Specifically, the card holder’s profile is scanned from their Emirates identity card and passport via an electronic reader at the self-service kiosk. As a result, DubaiCards are available only to Dubai residents as part of the initial offering, but with a large immigrant workforce, the scope of the solution is likely to expand in the future.

Although DubaiCards will be issued in Dubai initially, the founders are expecting the prepaid card solution to be rolled out across GCC as a second phase. In addition, the functionality will be extended to allow employers to pay salaries and expenses directly onto DubaiCards. In the meantime, cards can be topped up online as well as through kiosks, allowing considerable flexibility for both consumers and employers seeking to make payments to employees through prepaid cards rather than in cash.

National Pay’s Managing Director, Mr. Rashid AlKetbi concludes,

“We are thrilled to be part of this facility as it promotes accessible services across the Emirate and is perfectly in line with fulfilling the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai”.

For more information, please contact John Sharman, CEO, Tuxedo Money Solutions.

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