MasterCard to launch contactless payments in the UAE

18/10/2012 - Dubai Lifestyle News Posted by Neil King
MasterCard to launch contactless payments in the UAE

Tourists and businesspeople heading to the UAE's many shops and malls will soon be able to take advantage of cutting-edge contactless payment technology.MasterCard is planning to set up a substantial wireless transaction infrastructure across the country and more than 1,000 stores will use the company's PayPass system by the end of 2012.PayPass allows customers at shops, cinemas, cafes and restaurants to pay for goods and services by flashing their credit card against a point-of-sale scanner - thus removing the need for a PIN code.Thanks to new near field communication technology, contactless payments can also be made using a smartphone or wristwatch.Customers simply load their credit or debit card on to their device and then hold it against the terminal when they reach the checkout.MasterCard officials said the demand for such services is high in places like the UAE, Lebanon and Qatar.Vice president and country manager for MasterCard Worldwide's UAE division Eyad Al-Kourdi said: "The introduction of more than 1,000 PayPass terminals across the UAE will provide consumers with improved access to faster payments at checkout."With the enhanced acceptance infrastructure, we expect PayPass to undergo a rapid transition from being a novel new technology to an everyday shopping experience which provides yet another innovative option for consumers in the UAE to pay for purchases."The UAE is certainly no stranger to brand new, state-of-the-art technology.It is fast emerging as a global leader in the electronics field and a number of important international exhibitions and conferences are held in places like Dubai, including the Gitex Technology Week, which got underway on October 14th.As you would perhaps expect, major developers are focusing much of their attention on the smartphone market and a host of exciting developments are in the pipeline.Visitors to Dubai will soon be able to use their handset to speed up the passport control process at the main airport.New Smart Gates are being introduced that will eventually allow passengers to load their travel documents on to their phone, which will then be read by a scanner, Emirates 24/7 reports.