Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Bank launches mobile pay service

Online customers of NBAD can now wire money through their mobile phones and pay selected bills.

There is another reason not to leave your mobile phone in a taxi: it is now a banking tool. National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) launched a programme yesterday that allows its online customers to wire money through their mobile phones - even to people who are not NBAD customers - and to pay select merchants and organisations via a simple text message. "Banks are turning to mobile payment and banking because it is low cost in terms of a channel of service," said Ian Read, the general manager of the credit consulting company PIC Solutions. "It also helps banks differentiate themselves from competitors, as it is a value-added service."

Mashreqbank is expected to announce today a suite of online banking services that it says will enable customers to do everything they can do in a branch via their mobile phone. Two weeks ago, Dubai Bank launched a mobile phone programme that allowed consumers to use BlackBerries, iPhones and other high-end phones to do their banking services. Luup, a London-based company that services NBAD's mobile phone payment programme, is soliciting other banks in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, according to Thomas Bostrom Joregensen, the company's chief executive.

NBAD's Arrow service allows the company's 58,000 online users to pay their Etisalat and Abu Dhabi utility bills, and make payments to Abu Dhabi police, the Road and Transport Authority and the UAE Red Crescent Society. It will also allow NBAD customers to wire as much as Dh10,000 (US$2,700) to other NBAD bank accounts, and up to Dh500 to a non-NBAD account holder, who can retrieve the money from one of the bank's ATMs.

Ahmed al Naqbi, the senior manager of electronic banking at NBAD, said the company would not charge consumers for making mobile payments until at least mid-January. The company, he said, would increase the numbers of merchants participating in the programme and extend it to offer remittances and salary payments. The service is offered to the bank's online users because it requires the use of a PIN-generating security device, which those customers already use.

Farhan Waheed, the head of retail banking at Barclays, said the company would offer a mobile payments facility next year. Emirates NBD customers can make phone payments to merchants or move funds to other accounts within the bank. Mr Read said that more banks would increase their mobile services next year. "Once one bank offers it, others don't want to be left behind," he said. Mr Jorgensen said a mobile payments facility would enable banks and wireless operators to capture a greater share of remittance transactions, adding some $45 billion is sent from GCC countries to the Indian subcontinent each year.

He said banks only capture 15 per cent of that amount. "That's an untapped market." Even if you do leave your phone in a taxi, your banking secrets are safe because all transactions require a device that generates a new code every minute. Just make sure you don't leave that behind also. mjalili@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 A sign points the way to an outdoor market popular with German visitors on the Polish side of the German-Polish border. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

In pictures: A decade since the European Union went east

May 1 will mark 10 years since the European Union expanded east, taking in countries like Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states as new members. And though the border region between Germany and Poland is flourishing with trade and cultural exchange, the open border has also brought a sharp rise in crime.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National