Pay your bus, metro fares via mobile phones

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Pay your bus, metro fares via mobile phones

Metro and bus commuters in Dubai will soon be able to pay for their journey using mobile phones. A senior official at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) confirmed the service would be made available by the third quarter of this year.


Muaz Shabandri

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Published: Wed 20 Feb 2013, 8:58 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:29 AM

Speaking with Khaleej Times, Abdulla Al Madani, CEO of Corporate Technical Support Services at RTA said: “We are working very closely with telecom providers in the UAE to roll out Nol services on mobile phones by the third quarter of this year.”

KT file photoPayment by mobile phones will be made possible using the near field communication (NFC) technology. Many Android and BlackBerry smartphones sold in the UAE already have NFC chips. “We have already developed the payment model. To use the service, the phone should be NFC enabled and the SIM card should have the Nol application in it,” said Abdulla.

Commuters with NFC-enabled mobile phones will be able to tap their phone over Nol card readers inside metro stations and public buses.

However, to use the service, a new SIM with a custom Nol application would have to be installed.

The NFC technology uses contactless communication and data exchange between digital devices using electromagnetic radio fields.

Once implemented, the project would be the first of its kind to use NFC techNology for mass transit in Dubai.

The official said: “There is not much application of NFC in real life in Dubai. It is already popular in other countries and we hope Nol on mobile cards will make it popular here also.” Exact technical details of the initiative have not yet been announced.

“We are almost ready and there are a few technical details which need to be worked out with the telecom providers,”Abdulla said. A total of 5.3 million Nol cards have been sold in Dubai since 2009 and each month 22.7 million transactions are processed.

Last year, RTA introduced a special dual-chip card in partnership with Emirates NBD. The special credit card doubles up as a Nol card and provides the benefits of two cards in one.

More than 40,000 dual-chip cards are now in use.

“The dual-chip provides the benefit of a credit card and a Nol card in one card. It comes as part of the different initiatives planned to improve the services offered to customers,” added Abdulla.

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