Consumers will be Able to Make Payments by Simply Tapping their Mobile Phone against a Contactless Reader

Dubai, UAE, 11 October, 2011 MasterCard Worldwide, in collaboration with Etisalat, a leading telecommunications provider in the Middle East, Africa and Asia and Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced a strategic collaboration to launch Near Field Communication (NFC) technology empowered payments in the United Arab Emirates. Network International and Oberthur Technologies have supported the development of this service.

This latest evolution in mobile payments in the UAE will bring consumers ease, security and speed when making daily payments.  Soon consumers will not have to fumble for cash and coins or hand their card over when making payments. Consumers holding an enabled smartphone available in the UAE simply need to tap their smartphone at any MasterCard PayPass™- and they can be off with their purchase. Currently there are 341,000 MasterCard PayPass-enabled merchant locations globally.

Transforming smartphones into virtual payment cards, the mobile payments application leverages the MasterCard PayPass™ platform, which uses NFC technology, to allow the enabled smartphone to securely transmit and receive information wirelessly. The enhanced smartphones, which will be available in the local market from Etisalat, 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 their mobile phone to fund mobile-initiated payments. To bring consumers further protection, consumers will be prompted to enter a PIN on their mobile phone before completing a transaction.

“This is just the beginning of a new era in how we make payments in the UAE,” said Mr. Essa Al Haddad Etisalat Group Chief Marketing Officer, Etisalat. “The NFC technology used in this application allows a tremendous shift in how we will start to make payments, something that has been talked of for years will soon be a reality. Your mobile could buy you lunch, a cinema ticket, transport, and much more. We look forward to working closely with MasterCard and RIM in shaping the future of mobile payments in the UAE.”

Raghu Malhotra, general manager, Middle East, MasterCard Worldwide, said; “We are delighted to join forces with industry leaders to make this milestone announcement. This product has the potential to significantly change the way consumers in the UAE make payments.  MasterCard has led the transformation of mobile phones into secure mobile payment devices, providing consumers with a quick, secure and convenient payment option. We are excited that together with Etisalat, we are playing a key role in transforming the payments landscape in the UAE.”

Ram Chari, CEO, Network International, said; “Contactless payments represent a new generation in payment technology, with the capability to change the way customers shop at POS terminals. Driven by NFC-enabled mobile phones, this technology will witness increasing penetration in the next couple of years. Having been at the forefront of innovative card management solutions, Network International will be working closely with Etisalat and MasterCard to lead the revolution in payment technologies in the market.”

“NFC technology is making BlackBerry smartphones even smarter, whether it’s used for building access, public transportation, ticketing, sharing information or mobile payments. As a leader in mobile computing, RIM is proud to work with our industry partners here in the Middle East and worldwide to help enable the world of mobile commerce,” said Sandeep Saihgal, Managing Director, Middle East, RIM.

“The UAE mobile market will soon be revolutionised through Oberthur Technologies’ expertise in the convergence of mobile, banking and transit industries. The heart of the technology is within the SIM, the secure element, and can be fulfilled by open standard technologies that allow banks and a broad range of service providers to connect to secure and interoperable platforms. We are proud to launch another first with Etisalat and MasterCard” said Thierry Siminger, Managing Director RMEA, Card Systems Division at Oberthur Technologies.

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About Etisalat

Strong commitment to excellence and innovation has seen Etisalat become one of the world’s fastest-growing telecom groups, rapidly expanding across Asia and Africa.  Its UAE operations, strategically located at the crossroads of East and West, enables Etisalat to be the major hub in the Middle East for Internet, voice, broadcast, roaming and corporate data services. Etisalat has been recognised as ‘Best Operator’ 10 times since 2006 and ‘Best Wholesale Provider’ four times in the last three years. Servicing over 140 million customers in 18 countries Etisalat continues to reach out to new customers and markets.  


About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard (NYSE: MA) is a global payments and technology company.  It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Learn more at, follow us on Twitter @mastercardnews or join the conversation on The Heart of Commerce Blog.


About Network International:

Established in 1994, Network International LLC is the largest acquirer, and one of the leading payment solutions providers in the Middle East, geared to meet the needs of Banks, Financial institutions and large and individual retailers. It is a Principal Member of Visa International and MasterCard International for the UAE, offering customers the most comprehensive range of payment products and services for both the Issuing and Acquiring segment of the card payment industry. Offerings include credit and debit card processing services, ATM management and monitoring, merchant acquiring plus consumer finance applications. Network International provides consultancy services ranging from planning and designing, to developing of new card and consumer finance products and services.

Network International is the first independent vendor certified by both Visa & MasterCard for card payments in the Middle East. It is the UAE’s largest payment acquirer for Credit & Debit Cards and the largest third-party processing vendor offering complete EMV certified solutions as institutions migrate to EMV Smart Card technology.


About Research In Motion

Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry® solution in 1999. Today, BlackBerry products and services are used by millions of customers around the world to stay connected to the people and content that matter most throughout their day. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. RIM is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ:RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:RIM). For more information, visit or



About Oberthur Technologies

Oberthur Technologies is a world leader in the field of secure technologies: systems development, solutions and services for smart cards (payment cards, SIM cards, access cards, NFC…) and for secure identity documents, traditional and electronic (identity card, passport, health care card), production of banknotes, cheques and other fiduciary documents, intelligent systems to secure cash-in-transit and ATM. Oberthur Technologies has 6,800 employees through 40 countries and 65 sites. The Group posted 2010 sales of €979M.


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Saleh Mohammed, GolinHarris, Dubai, +971 4 332 3308;