Dubai First, du in NFC mobile payments deal
Dubai, May 20, 2009
Dubai First, a Dubai Group company, and du have joined hands to the launch the first Near Field Communication (NFC)-based pilot programme for mobile payments in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Near Field Communication is a next-generation wireless technology that allows transmission of small packets of data via radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders such as mobile phones for contact-less payment transactions.
NFC technology holds potential use in mobile phone devices whereby du customers can conveniently use their mobile phones to make purchases instead of using cash and traditional plastic payment cards.
This technology has a variety of applications including transportation, person-to-person payments, identity documentation and mobile commerce.
The pilot programme will be introduced in the UAE to around 250 customers selected from Dubai First’s recently launched Platinum MasterCard with Dubai Properties Group.
The Platinum MasterCard is currently available to residents of Jumeirah Beach Residence and surrounding localities including Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Knowledge Village and other places.
Selected Dubai First Platinum MasterCard customers will be able to securely download their credit card functionality to specially equipped mobile handsets over du’s mobile network.
Once the handset has been personalized, customers will be able to make purchases using their du mobile lines at multiple MasterCard PayPass enabled merchant locations in the UAE.
Ibrahim Al Ansari, CEO of Dubai First, said: “The launch of the NFC payment programme is a landmark in our efforts to bring innovation to credit card customers in the UAE. The programme will help us evaluate how customers use this new technology.”
“We believe that mobile payments will play a major role in the future of credit cards. Jumeirah Beach Residence is the ideal ecosystem for launching this programme. We look forward to working with du and our partners on bringing mobile commerce to customers in the UAE,” he commented.
Farid Faraidooni, EVP Commercial, du, said the growing sophistication of mobility - in terms of devices and technology - has led to it playing an increasingly important role in people’s lives; rather than exclusively as a means for communication.
'The NFC pilot programme along with our partner Dubai First signifies the pinnacle of this sophistication; which will now bring users the most innovative and contemporary method for payment in Dubai,' he stated.
'Du is proud to be the connectivity partner for this project, and we eagerly look forward to the inroads and benefits such a service will make for the region’s consumers, in the future,' Faraidooni added.
Dubai First and du will run the pilot for six months at ‘The Walk’ at Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai. During this time, selected customers can take advantage of special offers at retailers and a range of promotions presented on the interactive NFC platform.
The NFC initiative will be launched commercially later in the year and will be expanded to include several speciality applications.-TradeArabia News Service