du plans to have consumers pay for their Metro tickets using NFC technology
Commuters in Dubai will soon be using their smart phones to purchase Metro tickers thanks to United Arab Emirates telecommunications giant du. du has seen a great need for more efficiency in Dubai’s public transportation system. As such, the company has announced its partnership with the UAE’s Roads and Transport Authority. Through this partnership, du will work to incorporate NFC technology into the country’s public transportation system, with the foundation of this endeavor being laid in Dubai.
NFC technology could open the way for mobile commerce in Dubai
NFC technology allows for the wireless transmission of data from a mobile device to a stationary system. This technology is most often used in mobile commerce, where it can transform smart phones into mobile payment platforms. This is one of the purposes the technology will serve in du’s initiative. The company plans to work NFC technology into the public Metro system, allowing those with smart phones to purchase tickets.
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Lack of NFC-enabled devices could slow progress
The most significant challenge that du will face with its use of NFC technology in Dubai’s public transportation system is the low availability of NFC-enabled devices. Only mobile devices equipped with an NFC chip of some kind can interact with NFC services. Thus, a typical smart phone, such as the iPhone 5, that does not have an NFC chip cannot facilitate mobile transactions. du, as well as other companies in the telecommunications business, is working to solve this problem by introducing new NFC-enabled smart phones to the market. Whether consumers are willing to pay a slightly higher price for these phones just because they have an NFC chip has yet to be seen.
The UAE may be a cashless society in the future
If du’s endeavor with Dubai’s Metro is successful, NFC services are likely to expand throughout the United Arab Emirates. There is talk regarding the country eventually becoming a cashless society, with commerce relying heavily on mobile technology and NFC. In order for this to happen, the UAE must first overcome the significant problems that exist in mobile commerce and NFC technology, such as security, efficiency, and an appropriate infrastructure.