DUBAI // Residents will be able to use their mobile phones as proof of identity when dealing with government departments and to make payments by May next year.
The creation of a nationwide mobile payment, identification and authentication system is one of the key areas of the UAE’s move towards Mobile Government, announced on the final day of the Government Summit in Dubai.
“We are working with the central bank and the Emirates Identity Authority to make it possible to use your phone as a credit card and ID,” said Hamad Al Mansouri, deputy director general for information and eGovernment at the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority.
“Since it was announced last May that government will be shifting to mGovernment, we have completed more than half of what is required.”
Preparation will be in two phases: building the infrastructure, which will be handled by the TRA, and re-engineering government services, which will be handled by the prime minister’s office.
“The UAE has thousands of government services which we have to re-engineer into smart services,” said Hessa bu Humeid, executive director of government services at the prime minister’s office. “Smart government is a holistic idea of how the government will work. We had to look and study all the government e-services and see how to best convert them to smart services.”
The government will train 2,000 employees from all seven emirates in how to use the new mGovernment systems and services.
“You can easily make a smart service that users wouldn’t be able to figure out how to use, the key is to make it easy to use by everyone,” said Ms Humeid. “Children are using applications without any training today.”
A 33-page guide explaining to all government entities how they should prepare themselves was released at the summit at Madinat Jumeirah.
“Smart government is the new way in developing governments, and as society is changing the government has to be in synergy with their expectations,” said Mohammed Abdulla Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs.