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Dubai to construct real-time payments system

10 August 2009  |  5462 views  |  1 keyboard

Dubai has enacted a new Payment System Settlement Finality (PSSF) Law that creates the legal foundation for building a regional transaction processing hub for local processing of payments and other ancillary services.

The first such legislation in the Gulf, the new PSSF Law paves the way for the launch of a Real-time Automated Payments platform (Rapid) in the Dubai International Financial Centre, to provide transaction processing services to banks and their customers both in DIFC and the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Omar Bin Sulaiman, governor of the DIFC says: "The enactment of the PSSF Law forms part of a comprehensive infrastructure that DIFC is creating to catalyse the development of the financial services industry in the region."

He says DIFC has adopted legal best practices from Europe, Hong Kong and New Zealand, among others, to ensure finality of designated payments.

The legislation will assist Gulf-based companies in conducting legally sound payments within the region instead of having to use offshore infrastructures which often do not settle within local operating hours.

Comments: (1)

Keith Richbell
Keith Richbell - eftpos Payments Australia Ltd. (ePAL) - Sydney | 13 August, 2009, 01:54

I think it an interesting observation that the most common reaction from payment professional's to this story has been "well, it's easy to implement this service when the Government "dictates" it to be done. In democracies it's much harder to bring innovation because of existing vested interests that inhibit the democratic process." Well on that basis, all credit to benign dictatorships. The lead given by the UK banks (and yes, it was in response to the threat of legislation) has so far failed to gain traction in other markets because "vested" interests like the status quo. As one senior banker in my local market remarked "we don't need real-time payments in Australia sonny, because our payments are already fast enough." But not fast enough to compete against Dubai it would appear, who seem to understand the power of payment certainty as opposed to a "the cheque is in the post" payment infrastructure.

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