The near field communication announcement is expected to occur within the first half of next year.
Executives from Du, a UAE telco provider, have stated that NFC technology will become a standard feature in smartphones within that country within the first half of next year.
This is expected to open up a range of important opportunities for businesses in many industries.
The release of NFC technology on such a vast scale throughout the country could also considerably improve the likelihood that mobile wallets will take off in the UAE. This is because everyone with a smartphone will have the capabilities for using this mobile payments option.
The NFC technology is expected to take off where other forms of contactless communication have left off.
Though other options, such as 2D barcodes – specifically QR codes – have held a moderately successful position, NFC technology is expected to boost this type of communication exponentially. Near field communication could potentially allow for easier and more popular scanning, coupon redemption, loyalty programs, and mobile payments at a point of sale through a single tap of the device.
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The capabilities for NFC technology can now be embedded into a tiny pre-programmed sticker that is approximately the same size as a postage stamp. This means that it can be worked into print ads, business cards, on posters, and many other areas.
Du will be playing an important part in bringing NFC technology into the mainstream marketplace through its development of enabled SIM cards. These will have slots carried for related mobile apps. One app that will already be carried by default will be the RTA’s Nol. This will give users a jumping off point but will leave them the opportunity to decide from among a number of other retail and banking apps, depending on what they want and the amount of data that can be carried by the SIM card.
The business development director at Du, Tarik Ghanim spoke about the NFC technology by stating that “Commercially speaking we will roll out the Nol (SIM) card in Q1 2103.” He added that “We have tested and certified everything and now just adding the final touches for NFC enabled handsets. Currently this includes the Samsung’s GalaxyS3 and Galaxy Note 2 as well as four Blackberry devices.”