Dubai taxis will soon begin accepting fare payments through credit, debit and Nol cards, the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Wednesday.
The RTA has signed a partnership agreement with payment solutions provider Network International to facilitate card payments in local taxis.
The initiative will be implemented in different phases with the roll-out beginning in February 2014. It will be completed by mid 2015, according to RTA officials.
An extra charge of Dhs2 will be levied on all payments made via credit or debit cards while Nol card users will incur a Dhs1 charge.
Passengers would also be able to pay fares through mobiles using near-field communication (NFC) technology. Commuters can tap their phones on the taxi metres and the fare will automatically be deducted from their phones, officials told local media.
“This initiative would indisputably constitute an added value service to public transport commuting in general and to taxi riding in particular,” said Yousef Al Ali, CEO, RTA’s Public Transport Agency.
“The taxi service sector is witnessing remarkable growth in Dubai, thanks to the increasing demand from the public, representing all social cross sections including residents, tourists and visitors.
“The demand is especially high during peak seasons when Dubai hosts a range of events such as conventions, exhibitions, fairs and other landmark events,” said Al Ali.
Abdullah Al Madani, CEO of RTA’s corporate technical support services sector, added that the system is also customised to enable taxi users to tip drivers through the use of cards.
“Nol Cards and bank credit and debit cards of various types from all around the world can be used to pay the taxi fares to smoothly and easily facilitate payment without the trouble of finding ATMs, in case cash is not in hand,” said Al Ali.