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Direct Debit Marketplace officially launches in the UAE

By Leandra Monteiro

September 13, 2022

  • Digital Lending
  • Digital Wallet
  • Direct Debit Marketplace
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Direct Debit Direct Debit Marketplace, the UAE’s first paperless direct debit marketplace, has officially launched.

The platform provides payers and merchants with a simple and convenient all-in-one solution to conduct recurring payments, such as: school fees, insurance, rent, gym memberships, and any other subscription-based service.

Available to organizations that take recurring fees in any sector of business, the Direct Debit Marketplace platform is bank agnostic, which means that it does not affect the merchants’ relationship with their banking services provider. Direct debits facilitated through the platform are integrated with, and regulated by, the UAE Central Bank. Payers also benefit from cancelation control, within their contractual terms of agreement.

Commenting on the launch, Fatima Al Naqbi, Chief Innovation Officer at the Ministry of Finance and MBRIF representative, said: “We are delighted to see the launch of Direct Debit, another success story from our Innovation Accelerator programme, where we nurture promising startups that innovate and use technology to disrupt industries. Direct Debit is a perfect example, providing merchants and payers in the UAE with a marketplace where they can transact recurring payments efficiently at low cost. At MBRIF we will continue to align with the UAE’s vision to facilitate innovation and support growth, diversification and excellence in the country.”

Ummair Butt, Founder and CEO of Direct Debit System added, “Writing four cheques for rents or three for school fees are common place in UAE. Our Direct Debit Marketplace app provides residents and citizens with a safe, legal alternative to make all their recurring payments in one place, ideally on a monthly basis.

Butt added, “Monthly payments and avoiding quarterly or bi annual bulk payments means Direct Debit Marketplace can help over 96% of monthly salaried people to stay in control of their finances and out of debt. This is especially important knowing that rents and school fees account for more than 50% of their salaries. Our mission is to encourage a culture of monthly direct debit payments for all big or small ticket items at very low cost to merchants & free of charge for payers.”

“It is also hugely cost-effective for merchants who currently accept payments through credit cards or cheques. For example, a typical credit card payment would mean merchants pay somewhere between 1-3% of the transaction value. With Direct Debit Marketplace, we offer a fixed fee, regardless of the credit card or bank account, and there is no need to warehouse and process cheques. The Marketplace offers digital reconciliations for all Direct Debit payments, meaning massive cost, time and human resource savings for participating merchants, as existing staff can be retrained to handle business growth.”

UAE-based merchants can easily connect to the Marketplace with their accounting software or use the state-of-the-art dashboard. The platform is merchant driven which means a payer can only make Direct Debit payments if the biller/merchant makes an offer first. The app asks payers to digitally accept a payment offer before the signing process of a direct debit mandate begins.

The platform is integrated with UAEPASS, a secure digital identity.  The new service is sponsored by National Bank of Fujairah (NBF).

Set to be fully operational during the fourth quarter of 2022, Direct Debit Marketplace is now accepting expressions of interest and applications from merchants. As it is a legal system, all participating merchants of Direct Debit Marketplace must go through a mandatory KYC (Know Your Customer) process, carried out independently by Crif Gulf who represent Dun & Bradstreet in the UAE.

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