New mobile payments initiative launches in United Arab Emirates

Mobile Payments NFC Technology

Etisilat and Du look to make mobile payments more accessible

Etisalat, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the United Arab Emirates, and Du have launched a new initiative to promote mobile payments among tech-savvy consumers. The two companies have begun issuing NFC-enabled SIM cards to customers. These SIM cards can be used to give nearly any mobile device NFC capabilities, allowing these devices to engage mobile commerce services. These services primarily exist within the public transportation sector.

NFC-enabled SIM cards offered by Etisalat and Du

Mobile payments are growing in popularity among consumers, but many people are unable to access mobile commerce services because they do not have NFC-enabled devices. These devices are somewhat rare in the Middle East and other parts of the world. Given that many mobile commerce services are based on NFC technology, the lacking availability of NFC-enabled devices has made these services relatively exclusive. Etisalat aims to expand the accessibility of these services with its NFC-enabled SIM cards.

Mobile Payments NFC TechnologySIM cards can be used to pay for transit services

The NFC-enabled SIM cards will work alongside the Nol public transportation cards that are widely used throughout the United Arab Emirates. Nol cards are used to make paying for public transit services more convenient and operate as a kind of payment card. Using an NFC-enabled SIM card, consumers will be able to pay for transit services using their mobile devices. The SIM cards do come at a price, however, which may deter some consumers from making use of them.

Lack of NFC support still problematic for iOS users

NFC technology is becoming more common with many major smartphones and tablets, but Apple has yet to show any significant support for the technology. As such, no iOS device is capable of supporting NFC or any service based on the technology. This makes it difficult for consumers with iPhones and other such devices to make mobile payments. The Android platform, however, does support NFC technology, giving consumers at least some options when it comes to participating in mobile commerce.

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