MasterCard and RIM to bring mobile payments to UAE

MasterCard and RIM to bring mobile payments to UAE

MasterCard is partnering with wireless operator Etisalat and mobile device manufacturer Research in Motion to launch NFC-enabled mobile shopping services in the United Arab Emirates.

Etisalat will act as the local storefront for the project, providing NFC-equipped BlackBerry phones to consumers.

The souped-up smartphones will give consumers the ability to use their phone as a mobile wallet and link their PayPass-enabled credit, debit or prepaid MasterCard card accounts to the handset.

To make a purchase, consumers will need to tap their phones at a PayPass-enabled point-of-sale terminal and key in a PIN to complete a transaction.

Finextra Verdict: The requirement for PIN input somewhat negates the benefits of the key contactless selling point for faster throughput at the till. The limitations imposed by the choice of smartphone manufacturer and the restrictions implied by the use of a single card scheme network are further barriers to widespread take-up. Yes, it's flesh in the game. And yes, tactical roll-outs can help make a case for the technology. But, no matter the ambitions of the partners, small-scale efforts such as this will surely wilt against the all-encompassing ecosystems currently championed by the likes of Google.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 October, 2011, 09:58Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This announcement could not have been planned any better or worse given the current problems being experienced around the world by Blackberry users.

If you look at the level of anger on Twiiter, Facebook, local radio programs and so on, it can only be bad news for all concerned.


A Finextra member
A Finextra member 14 October, 2011, 15:57Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

it does seem bizarre that this press release would be published at a time when its very obvious that Mobile networks dont have the resiliance needed to manage the  high availability levels that payment networks have to sustain, 24/7/365.... its ok if an email or  IM takes 4-10 minutes to travel - but thats a ridiculously long time to stand by a POS device - or wait for a browser screen to load !   poor PR management by MC Etisalat and RIM!  are they asleep?