FIME, which provides testing services, has tested and certified Qatar National Bank's (QNB) new contactless mobile payments solution for the country to ensure that it complies with the MasterCard PayPass specifications for Near Field Communication (NFC) readers. The pilot project, which began rollout in March of this year and is on-going, is Qatar's first NFC payments initiative and brings the country into line with many other nations that are presently rolling out the technology.
The contactless mobile payments programme provides QNB customers and merchants with a quick way to make and accept low-value payments via the use of NFC-enabled handsets and Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminals, potentially cutting down on queues in shops and reducing the expense of handling cash for banks and retailers.
The mobile payments project in Qatar is part of a phased implementation plan where QNB will work closely with other project participants to gradually deploy contactless PoS terminals across the country.
Commenting on the launch, Abdulla Nasser Al Khalifa, assistant general manager, retail banking, at QNB, said: "Developing and launching a nationwide contactless mobile payment pilot required a multi-disciplinary approach due to the various stakeholders involved. Testing and certification was therefore vital in ensuring interoperability and standardisation. With its global experience and regional presence, we were keen to work with FIME to engage with the various stakeholders and ensure products could be confidently brought to market and form part of a trusted contactless mobile payments infrastructure."
By Neil Ainger