When is the last time you wrote a cheque? In many parts of the world the answer is likely to be sometime last century. But here in Dubai, it could have been just last month. To pay your rent.
Most banking processes in the UAE were formulated before 2000, and despite the introduction and widespread usage of internet banking and banking apps, the paperwork, policies and procedures that underpin them remain there.
Opening a bank account or acquiring a mortgage in the UAE can at times require monk-like patience. Last month, Will Rankin, a well-known business journalist based in Dubai, urged his readers to abandon cheques. “I’m not getting another cheque book,” he wrote. “Let’s all refuse cheque books and force the UAE’s banking system to accept modern, normal payment systems.