One card for shops and metro


By Eugene Harnan

DUBAI // Metro and bus passengers could soon be paying for their journeys and their groceries on the same card if local banks agree to place a special chip in credit cards.

Dubai metro
Dubai metro

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) wants to work with banks to produce special cards which would have the additional function of storing credit for use on public transport. It would effectively combine the capabilities of an ordinary credit card with those of the RTA’s Nol card, which is used to pay when boarding buses, water buses and the metro.

The RTA’s idea would require the banks to place an additional chip in their credit cards, which would store the holder’s transport funds. The authority said yesterday it has put the concept out to tender with banks.

“It will cut down on the number of cards people will have to carry,” said Abdullah al Madani, the chief executive of the RTA’s corporate technical support services sector.

Mr al Madani said no launch date is set for what the RTA is calling the “dual chip transit credit card”, as the tender has only just been put out. The existing Silver and Gold Nol cards, and the standard Red Tickets for metro journeys will remain on sale.

Mr al Madani said the idea would broaden the use of credit cards and encourage people to use public transport, in line with the RTA’s long-term goal.