Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) Chief Executive, Mohammed Ali Al Qaed praised the Cabinet’s approval for government entities to transition towards accepting digital payments only which aims to diversify digital payment options beyond bank-issued cards, giving the public a range of further options. Al Qaed said that the receipt of physical money has already stopped for 34 government services. Working with relevant government agencies, the services have been modified so that only digital payment channels linked to the National Payment Aggregator (NPA) will be accepted. The policy will broadened to cover other services until eventually all government services will make the transition.
Al Qaed praised the vision of the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa in encouraging the deployment of advanced technologies towards the advancement of government services, paving the way for more effective and efficient public services. He said that a continuous focus on improving public services, including identifying ways of enhancing productivity, is among the government’s priorities. Major achievements in this area include improvements to the judicial sector, the National Bureau for Revenue (NBR), and the ‘Sijilat’ and ‘Tasareeh’ services.
Al Qaed said that the Cabinet’s decision is in line with the Kingdom’s smart government plans and its commitment to widening its digital transformation and expanding its infrastructure. The Kingdom deploys the most advanced IT solutions to help raise the quality of its services and reduce waiting times.
Al Qaed added that this decision also supports efforts towards strengthening the public sector’s role as a regulator of activities provided by the private sector. The government aims to establish further partnerships with the private sector with the aim of helping to speed up the rate of economic growth.
Al Qaed also said that the Cabinet’s decision to approve a wider range of digital payment methods is in line with international trends towards accepting ePayments and the faster rate of digital transformation imposed on the world by the pandemic. In the longer term, this is expected to have a positive effect on the development and growth of the national economy.
He added that the Kingdom aims to provide the highest possible standards of services to the public to ensure a better quality of life. This decision will help improve government services for beneficiaries, ensuring quick and easy transactions, while maintaining their privacy, health, and safety, as well as those of government employees. The decision is being implemented in three stages, including suspension of physical cash payments, issuance of eBills, and finally complete digital transformation.