Smartphones will double as Nol Cards in 2013


By Janice Ponce de Leon, Staff Reporter

Dubai: Beginning 2013, commuters using public transport in Dubai will be able to use compatible smartphones to pay their fare, a senior official at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced.

Instead of using Nol Cards, commuters who have smartphones with Near Field Communication (NFC) Technology will be able to swipe their mobiles over sensors mounted on access gates at Dubai Metro stations besides public buses and Water Bus services.

This new contactless payment method will be the first-of-its-kind in the Middle East.

“The new service enables public transport users to pay their fares through the e-payment portal, top-up their Nol accounts electronically, and query their balances through the phone,” said Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of RTA.

“RTA has coordinated with the telecommunication providers [etisalat and du] over the activation of the trial run of the service in order to assess the performance of the service before its official launch in 2013,” he added. More info