Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Vice President and Deputy Prime Minister made the first cross-border payment using the Central Bank of the UAE’s (CBUAE) digital currency ‘Digital Dirham’ directly with the transfer of $13.6 million (AED 50 million) through mBridge to China.
Sheikh Mansour made the payment while attending a celebration marking the CBUAE’s 50th Anniversary.
The mBridge, which uses central bank digital currencies (CBDC) for international fund transfers between participating banks, was launched by the central banks of the UAE, Hong Kong and Thailand as well as the Digital Currency Institute of the People’s Bank of China and the Bank for International Settlements.
The UAE Vice President was briefed on the services provided by the “Aani” instant payment platform, which was launched by Al Etihad Payments in October 2023 and offers a fast, convenient and secure way to transfer funds instantly.
He also witnessed the launch of the ‘Open Finance’ which enables consumers to connect and share data across the entire financial ecosystem.
CBUAE partnered with G42 Cloud and R3 in March 2023 to launch its CBDC strategy, one of the nine initiatives of the central bank’s Financial Infrastructure Transformation (FIT) Programme.
The first phase of the initiative comprises three major pillars: the soft launch of mBridge to facilitate real-value cross-border CBDC transactions for international trade settlement, proof-of-concept work for bilateral CBDC bridges with India and finally proof-of-concept work for domestic CBDC issuance covering wholesale and retail usage.