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Dubai's plan for payments via mobile number already seem a little dated
The UAE is getting on the fintech payments bandwagon, and Dubai is now moving to allow its citizens to make payments via a mobile phone number.
Finextra reports that the initiative is backed by the Dubai Smart Government (DSG) project and will see the technology of Quisk Middle East — a cloud-based solution where a mobile phone number and secured PIN is used to maintain digital a cash account — integrated into a UAE-wide POS merchant network. Bhairav Trivedi, CEO of Network International, the company that maintains the POS network said:
This solution heralds a new era of cashless payments across the region, enabling people to conduct transactions anytime and anywhere, in line with Dubai Smart Government’s smart transformation initiatives to support Dubai’s aspirations.
One can’t help feeling that using phone numbers for payments is a bit of a retrograde step, especially when there are other, more advanced, technologies like near-field communication (NFC) available. What’s more, this comes just a week after Facebook heralded the imminent death of the phone number.
Of course, payments via your phone number can be very useful for those that still use feature phones, which don’t have NFC tech, but that group is set to shrink even in emerging economies as affordable smartphones become increasingly available.