SDO launches blockchain-based ‘Payment Reconciliation and Settlement’ system

DUBAI, 23rd September, 2018 (WAM) — The Smart Dubai Office, SDO, today launched the “Payment Reconciliation and Settlement” system, in collaboration with the Dubai Department of Finance, which is a blockchain-based upgrade to its financial system.

The new system will enable transactions to be performed accurately and in real time, and economise time and effort. The department’s current procedures rely on staff members physically conducting payments and manually reconciling, as well as settling them and deducting fees, before transferring remaining amounts to relevant authorities, which is a time-consuming process that could take up to 45 days.

Dr. Aisha bint Butti bin Bishr, Director-General of the SDO, attended the launching ceremony, along with Saeed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA; Abdulrahman Al Saleh, Director-General of the Government of Dubai’s Department of Finance; Saeed Al Falasi, Executive Director of Future Platforms at the Dubai Future Foundation, DFF; Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment, SDG; Samer Soliman, Managing Director of Network International, and Evans Munyuki, Group Chief Digital Officer at Emirates NBD.

“Guided by the forward-thinking vision of its leadership, Dubai has long been a pioneer in embracing the latest technologies, most notably those of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” and tailoring them to meet the needs of our citizens, residents and visitors, to transform Dubai into the happiest and smartest city in the world,” Dr. bin Bishr said.

“Once again, Dubai is a pioneer in this sector and continues to make progress, with the launch of the ‘Payment Reconciliation and Settlement’ system, which is in line with the ambitious ‘Dubai Blockchain Strategy’ that was launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council. The strategy aims to increase government efficiency by transferring all government transactions to the Blockchain network,” she added.

“Ensuring the success of the ‘Payment Reconciliation and Settlement’ system requires fostering collaboration and synergy among various government entities that have joined or are planning to join the system, which calls for each entity to open its data network and work together with other government departments,” she further added.

“The new and advanced ‘Payment Reconciliation and Settlement’ system offers Dubai Government authorities many significant benefits. As well as enabling near real-time reconciliations and settlements, the system eliminates friction within financial processes through automation and minimising human intervention. It also allows for full financial transparency, immediate disputes and claims resolutions, and the immutability of financial records,” Lootah said.

DEWA and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, KHDA, were the first government agencies to join the system, and have already processed a combined total of over five million transactions using the advanced Blockchain-based system.

More government authorities are planning to join the system, most notably the Dubai Police, Roads and Transport Authority, RTA, the Dubai Health Authority, DHA, Dubai Airports, Dubai Customs, the Dubai Municipality, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, DTCM, Dubai Courts, and Dubai Holding, as well as other local government bodies, leading banks and financial services providers.

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