Credit giant MasterCard has entered into a partnership with Etisalat, a telecommunications company based in the United Arab Emirates, to bring NFC technology to the Middle East. The technology has been gaining momentum in the region at a relatively slow pace – a fact that MasterCard is keen to change in the coming months. The push to spread the technology comes from the company’s investment in mobile commerce, an industry that may change how consumers purchase items in the not-so-distant future.
Both Etisalat and MasterCard will be working together to bring a new generation of smart phones to the UAE. The devices will be NFC enabled and ready to make mobile transactions at a number of locations that will facilitate such payments. MasterCard will be paying particular attention to security in an effort to placate fears regarding the safety of mobile commerce.
NFC technology lies at the heart of the mobile commerce industry. While the technology is relatively young – having been developed in 2004 – its simplicity has won favor among credit and financial institutions. The technology can transform any smart phone into a mobile wallet which houses the owner’s financial information. In this way, smart phones can be used to make purchases both online and in the physical world with ease.
Etisalat’s new NFC-enabled phones are expected to be ready for the market at the beginning of next year.