United Arab Emirates-based telecom Etisalat is partnering with MasterCard and Network International to launch nationwide NFC payments.
Scheduled to launch this fall, the service will enable Etisalat customers with Blackberry 9900 smart phones to make contactless purchases at more than 600 retail locations in the UAE that already accept MasterCard PayPass contactless payments. Customers using the mobile application can tap and pay for items up to $50, but must enter a PIN to verify the transaction.
According to Enrique Beza, senior manager for m-Commerce at Etisalat, mobile payments are “just the beginning,” as Etisalat will soon be looking into adding coupon and loyalty features to the application.
“Payment is, of course, a very important application but with smart tags you can build a story,” said Beza. “You could have coupons… redeem points with your next coffee or get a coffee free.”