Etisalat and MasterCard Worldwide have collaborated with industry leaders to announce an innovative cashless mobile payments programme in the UAE. This latest evolution in mobile payments uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to authorize everyday transactions via a smartphone.
Today at Gitex 2011 in Dubai, Etisalat and MasterCard provided a preview of the commercial introduction of an NFC service developed in conjunction with Network International, Oberthur Technologies and Research in Motion (RIM).
To make a purchase, consumers holding a BlackBerry Bold 9900 with an NFC enabled Etisalat SIM will simply need to tap their smartphone at any MasterCard PayPass Point-Of-Sale (POS) terminal. The service transforms smartphones into virtual payment cards allowing consumers to make purchases.
For security protection, consumers will be prompted to enter a PIN on their mobile phone before completing a transaction. Currently there are more than 341,000 PayPass enabled merchant locations globally.
“This is just the beginning of a new era in how we make payments in the UAE,” said Rashid Al Abbar, VP Home Product. “Soon your mobile will buy you lunch, a cinema ticket, transport and much more. It could become the single solution for many of your purchase needs in the very near future.”
Ram Chari, CEO, Network International, said: “Contactless payment is the new generation payment technology with the capability to change the way customers shop at POS terminals. Driven by NFC mobile phones, this technology will witness increasing penetration in the next couple of years.
“Having been at the forefront of innovative card management solutions, Network International will be working closely with Etisalat and MasterCard to lead the revolution in payment technologies and supply this product to financial institutions.”
Raghu Malhotra, general manager, Middle East, MasterCard Worldwide, said: “We are delighted to join forces with industry leaders to make this milestone announcement. This product has the potential to significantly change the way consumers in the UAE make payments.
“Around the world MasterCard has led the transformation of mobile phones in to secure mobile payment devices, providing consumers with a quick, secure and convenient payment option. We’re excited that together with Etisalat we are playing a key role in transforming the payment landscape in the UAE.”
Thierry Siminger, managing director RMEA, Card Systems Division at Oberthur Technologies, said: “The UAE mobile market will soon be revolutionised through Oberthur Technologies’ expertise in the convergence of mobile, banking and transit industries. The heart of the technology is within the SIM, the secure element, and is fulfilled by an open standard technology to allow all banks and a broad range of service providers to connect to a secure and interoperable platform. We are proud to launch another first with Etisalat and MasterCard and look forward to the global rollout.”
“NFC technology is set to be a major market mover for the mobile sector over the next five years and RIM is working in close collaboration with Etisalat and MasterCard to help make the concept of mobile commerce become a reality in the UAE,” said Sandeep Saihgal, managing director, RIM Middle East. “The new line-up of BlackBerry 7 smartphones includes various models that are NFC-enabled and demonstrates RIM’s commitment to enabling NFC-based experiences on BlackBerry.”