e-Dirham is a payment tool devised by the United Arab Emirates government in order to facilitate collection of revenues, and providing the government and public with a secure and convenient payment tool.
The e-Dirham was initially intended for the revenue collection of the UAE federal government, but is now also being used by UAE local governments, semi-governmental organizations and some private enterprises.
The e-Dirham was launched on 3 February 2001, making UAE the first country within the Arab Region to introduce such a system countrywide.
The e-Dirham has become widely available, and has many payment channels. The Ministry of Finance and Industry has worked and is still working on expanding payment channels. Currently available payment channels include
- Electronic point of sale (EPOS) terminals
- Over the Internet (E-Dirham Payment Gateway)
The e-Dirham Cards can be described as “Secure Electronic Purse” and currently have two versions as per the following:
The Fixed Value Card
The Ministry of Finance and Industry has made available the e-Dirham cards with fixed value for a number of denominations that can be bought at face value from a number of banks (e-Dirham Members).
The current available denominations are Dhs (100, 200, 300, 500, 1000, 3000, 5000). More denominations will be introduced if found necessary.
Those cards can’t be re-charged. But an applicant could use up to two cards to settle the fee of any one service he/she is applying for.
The Government Client Card
On 24 June 2001, the Ministry of Finance & Industry has launched a new card named as “Government Client Cards”. This represents the second generation of the e-Dirham.
This card type is intended for frequent users who are using government services, and can be obtained by individuals or companies. The advantage of this card that it is personalized so that no one else could use this card except for the card holder which was originally issued to.
Once issued this card will have a zero value loaded onto it. Then the card holder should go to the nearest e-Dirham member bank to have his/her card filled with any amount of money either by paying cash or through account transfer.
Government Client Card Applications are available at the Ministry of Finance and Industry (Abu Dhabi and Dubai), as well as at the e-Dirham member banks for the individuals and companies to apply for. Once an application is approved then a Government Client Card is personalized and issued along with a PIN arriving in a secure envelope for the cardholder use only.
The PIN will allow the card holder to benefit from various facilities through the 24 hours / 7 days IVR Tele e-Dirham Service (interactive voice response system), as well as through the Internet (Internet e-Dirham Service).
This System is powered by Smart Systems Company, which considered the leader of the payment solutions all over UAE.
e-Dirham card point of sale
The e-Dirham Card (with Fixed Face Value)
Cards are available from any of the following e-Dirham member banks:
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank National Bank of Dubai Commercial Bank of Dubai Union National Bank National Bank of Sharjah Al-Mashreq Bank Arab Bank for Investment and Foreign Trades
Above banks have branches covering the whole country; in addition to that some of the above banks have a special branch situated at some of the ministries for the convenience of the public.
The e-Dirham Government Client Card
Application forms are available at the Ministry of Finance and Industry (Abu Dhabi and Dubai), in addition at any of the branches of the above e-Dirham Member Banks.
Once the application is filled up with complete supporting documents as requested it will be processed by the Ministry of Finance and Industry, once approved a Government Client Card will be personalized with the card holder details and photo and issued with a PIN in a secure envelope.
Then it is the duty of the cardholder to fill any amount of money in the e-Dirham Government Client Card from any of the above-mentioned banks.