Dubai’s RTA to introduce smartphone top-up for metro cards

The new service will reduce reliance on machines and clerks at stations on the Dubai Metro network



Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has revealed plans to allow users to charge their metro card using their smartphone.

The new system, which will be introduced in October following a trial this month, will allow users of the Public Transport App to utilise their phone’s Near Field Communications (NFC) chip to pay for services through the app.

This will include the ability to read and update NOL cards directly using Android devices, although there was no mention of functionality with Apple’s iPhone’s.

“The Smart Fare project uses the NFC technology i.e. tapping NOL card on smart-phones (Android devices) in which the Public Transport Smart App is uploaded,” said Khaled Al Awadi, director of automated fare collection, technology support services sector at the RTA.

“The customer would then be able to top-up NOL card instantly, and buy a bus & metro permit without visiting [the] tickets counter or renew such a permit,” he said.

Customers will enter their credit card details into the app to use the service, which is part of the authority’s plan to streamline services and integrate smart systems into its operations.

The transferring of credit from one card to another and details of journeys made on the card will also be available.
“The service would contribute to eliminating any inconvenience related to the limited number of recharging machines,” said Al Awadi.

“This would add to customers’ satisfaction rating which tops RTA’s agenda, and support the Smart City initiative launched by Dubai Government for upgrading services in a way befitting the profile of Dubai amongst cosmopolitan cities.”

The RTA recently confirmed that an extension to the city’s metro system would begin running in May 2020.

Read: Dubai metro extension to begin running in May 2020

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