Covid-19: Contactless payments continue to rise in UAE, GCC

Digital payments firm working to enable acceptance of cards on public transportation systems.



Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), with other officials at the final ceremony. Supplied photo.
Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), with other officials at the final ceremony. Supplied photo.
by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Tue 8 Feb 2022, 6:24 PM

Last updated: Tue 8 Feb 2022, 8:34 PM

Contactless payments continue to rise in the UAE and the Gulf following the outbreak of the pandemic and the regional countries lead the world in frictionless payments, said a senior official Visa, a world leader in digital payments.

Melvin Andrew Joseph, Visa’s Head of Merchant Sales and Acquiring for UAE, said globally Visa is working to enable acceptance for cards for the public transportation system.

“Be it a bus or metro, in addition to the existing smart card which is transit-specific, you will also be able to use your Visa card to pay for your ride. We are working on 700 projects globally, out of which 450 are live. In the GCC, we expect few countries to go live this year,” said Joseph.

He stated that consumers are looking at safer and more hygienic solutions during the pandemic.

According to Visa’s latest study, contactless payments are among the highest in the region as out of total digital payments, 94 per cent are contactless in Saudi Arabia, 92 per cent in the UAE, and 81 per cent in Kuwait.

“There is a lot of interest coming in and vendors are showing so much interest in using Visa card to tap to pay for any public transportation system,” he added.

While speaking during a panel discussion on the last day of the fourth edition of the Mena Transport Congress and Exhibition 2022 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, he added that pandemic led to a sharp decline in public transport ridership and the recovery has been uneven. Offering contactless options to pay will be key to helping support recovery of public transport moving forward.

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The three-day Mena Transport Congress and Exhibition 2022 attracted more than 1,000 participants and visitors as well as 73 speakers amongst transport experts and academicians from 19 countries. Over three days, the congress discussed the future of mobility in a post-Covid-19 world, the role of Mena mobility leaders in determining the future of mobility in the region, smart mobility management, future cities, and the role of women leaders in public transport. On the sidelines of the congress, an exhibition was held with the participation of 40 entities from 17 countries to showcase the latest development and trends of the transport industry.

Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), attended the final ceremony. Khalid Al Hogail handed over the flag of the UITP Congress and Exhibition to Marta Subira, President of FGC, Barcelona, which will host the congress in 2023.

Al Tayer and Al-Hogail also honoured the sponsors of the Mena Transport Congress and Exhibition 2022. Honourees were Bin Laden Contracting Group, Kone, GBM, Wade Adams, DutcoBalfour, Emicool, United Trans, Etisalat, Al Zarooni International, Energy International, Transportation Security Department, Trapeze, Salam Limousine Services, and Dubai Taxi Corporation in addition to Cisco, the sponsor of the Public Transport Hackathon.

-waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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