Singaporean e-payments outfit Nets and Gemalto Middle East have won a deal with the Omani government for the provision of a national electronic purse system.
The first phase of the project will begin in July when Omani citizens and residents will be able to store and load money in their national identity and resident cards, with BankMuscat acting as issuer.
As well as providing an alternative to debit and credit cards, the system will help government departments collect payment for their services and it will be mandatory to use the cards to pay for transactions such as fines with the Royal Oman Police.
In 2010 the system will be rolled out to cover all banks in Oman. At the same time, government agencies and retailers will be able to collect payment via the card.