According to reports, with the help of RIM, Dubai will be among the first NFC players as RIM plans to switch on BlackBerry NFC Mobile Payment support. The report states that NFC mobile payments are set to be introduced in the United Arab Emirates following the signing of a strategic collaboration agreement between Abu Dhabi-based mobile network operator Etisalat, MasterCard and Research in Motion. As of now no launch date for the arrival of the service is mentioned in the announcement of the strategic partnership but the word out is that they are pushing for late 2011, early 2012.
“This latest evolution in mobile payments in the UAE will bring consumers ease, security and speed when making daily payments,” say the partners. “Soon consumers will not have to fumble for cash and coins or hand their card over when making payments. Consumers holding an enabled smartphone available in the UAE simply need to tap their smartphone at any MasterCard PayPass [terminal] — and they can be off with their purchase.”
Consumers who acquire an NFC phone from Etisalat will be able to use it as a mobile wallet and link their PayPass-enabled credit, debit or prepaid MasterCard accounts to their mobile phone to fund payments. Consumers will be prompted to enter a PIN on their handset before completing each transaction.
“This is just the beginning of a new era in how we make payments in the UAE,” says Essa Al Haddad, Etisalat’s group chief marketing officer. “The NFC technology used in this application allows a tremendous shift in how we will start to make payments, something that has been talked of for years will soon be a reality. Your mobile could buy you lunch, a cinema ticket, transport, and much more. We look forward to working closely with MasterCard and RIM in shaping the future of mobile payments in the UAE.”
Raghu Malhotra, the Middle East general manager for MasterCard Worldwide, says: “This product has the potential to significantly change the way consumers in the UAE make payments. MasterCard has led the transformation of mobile phones into secure mobile payment devices, providing consumers with a quick, secure and convenient payment option.”
And RIM’s Sandeep Saihgal adds “NFC technology is making BlackBerry smartphones even smarter, whether it’s used for building access, public transportation, ticketing, sharing information or mobile payments.
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