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UAE set to issue CBDC for cross-border payments and domestic usage



UAE set to issue CBDC for cross-border payments and domestic usage
Source: Unsplash
  • The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates is set to launch its CBDC. 
  • The CBDCs are part of a larger program called FIT, which seeks to accelerate digital transformation.

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) recently launched its Financial Infrastructure Transformation (FIT) program.

The program aims to support the country’s financial services sector and promote digital transactions, with the goal of making the UAE a leader in both financial services and digital payments.

9-point FIT program 

The FIT program was launched in line with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who serves as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, as well as Chairman of the CBUAE’s Board of Directors.

According to the press release, the program will have nine key initiatives divided into three stages. The full integration of the program is slated for 2026. 

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) are part of stage one, which also includes the launch of a card domestic scheme and an electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC) platform.

The CBDC will facilitate both domestic and cross-border settlements. This move is aimed at addressing the inefficiencies and challenges associated with cross-border payments and driving innovation for domestic payments

The next stage of the FIT program will include the development of several digital infrastructures, such as a financial cloud, an Instant Payments Platform, and an open finance platform.

These digital infrastructures will improve regulatory compliance, reduce operational costs, enhance customer experience, and strengthen security and operational resilience.

“The FIT Programme embodies the directions and aspirations of our wise leadership towards digitizing the economy and developing the financial sector. We are proud to be building an infrastructure that will support a thriving UAE financial ecosystem and its future growth,” the Governor of the Central Bank stated in the press release. 

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