UAE-based teleco Etisalat has signed a memorandum of understanding with Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) to develop a program that would enable Emirates ID card data to be identified and transferred using NFC-enabled mobile phones.
According to the memo, the partners will undertake a pilot program for several months in which participants would use a digital version of their national ID card on an NFC-enabled mobile phone. Pending a successful pilot, the partners would then open up the service to all nationals and expatriates in the UAE.
“NFC can assist in providing creative, convenient and safe services for customers, while presenting new opportunities for data integration and communication,” said Al Mazroui, EIDA’s executive director of Communications and Information Systems. “Our partnership with Etisalat continues our efforts to provide the most modern communication infrastructure for Emirates ID cardholders, who can benefit from the connectivity and compatibility of their smart cards.”
Al Mazroui added that EIDA plans to launch several “creative” services following completion of the residents’ registration stage in a way that supports the e-governance initiative of the UAE and its transformation to a “digital economy.”
“Mobile NFC is making the ‘internet of things’ a reality today by creating NFC links that can be used to connect remotely to target sites using phones,” added Marwan Al Qadi, senior director of Electronic & Mobile Commerce at Etisalat. “We are already seeing its many benefits in areas such as shopping, e-payments and cross-media functions.”