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Rise in mobile payment fueled by NFC-enabled mobile devices
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 18 - 07 - 2012

Example of making a payment with a Near Field Communications-enabled mobile phone.MAKING payments with a Near Field Communications (NFC) enabled mobile phone is expected to grow significantly as mobile technologies become more advanced and the infrastructure to support NFC payments falls into place.
NFC technology is increasingly being adopted by payment networks, banks, merchants, mobile device manufacturers and mobile network operators as the global standard for mobile payments. This year, analysts anticipate that smart phone shipments will grow by over 38.6 percent year-on-year, reflecting the increasingly interactive relationship consumers have with their phones.
"NFC technology is transforming mobile phones into payment devices that will change the way people live, work and play," said said Niki Manby, Head of Emerging Products for Visa Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (APCEMEA), "NFC payments has enormous potential and we are committed to providing the convenience of this technology in a secure manner to our customers."
There is an undeniable demand for contactless transactions using the mobile phone. Juniper Research predicts that NFC mobile payments are set to exceed $180 billion worldwide in 2017. Visa is committed to enabling more consumers to make payments from their phones to a contactless terminal securely and efficiently. Visa has played a leadership role in establishing global standards for mobile payments by making sure that they are aligned with existing technology and security standards for chip payment cards, and can be integrated easily into the existing payments ecosystem.
In the Middle East, Visa has worked closely with mobile network operators, handset manufacturers and financial institutions, merchants and technology providers to develop and commercialize mobile payments and related services.
In Kuwait, for example, Visa partnered with National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) and Zain to deliver the region's first NFC mobile payment trial, in a move that gave up to 350 NBK Visa cardholders the convenience and security of paying for their purchases using Visa PayWave on their Nokia 6212 phones at over 70 merchant partner outlets in The Avenues, Kuwait's largest mall.
In the UAE meanwhile, Visa is working together with leading industry players Etisalat and Emirates NBD on a mobile contactless technology trial, enabling Emirates NBD Visa cardholders to purchase goods and services with their NFC-enabled mobile phones, with purchases charged directly to the customer's Emirates NBD Visa credit card account. – SG


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