Dubai: You might not know it, but the UAE currently has several mobile wallets for you to choose from, and that list is about to get a bit longer.
With Apple announcing that Apple Pay will be available across the country by the end of the year, and the UAE Banks Federation (UBF) confirming that the Emirates Digital Wallet will arrive within the next few months, people will have more choice than ever.
Mobile wallets refer to the technology being developed by banks and other companies to allow customers to pay for items with their phones. The intention is to make shopping more convenient for consumers, whilst providing the banks with more data on people’s spending habits, and reducing the risk of fraud.
So, if that sounds like something you’d be interested in trying, what are your options? The big players, Google, Apple, Samsung, and Android, all have their own wallets, but not all are currently available in the UAE.
There’s no need to worry, however, as there are plenty of others to choose from. Some have additional benefits, such as the Etisalat Wallet, which allows you to pay your utility bills, your parking tickets, and so on.
Some work on Android and Apple, whilst some only work on one.
Here, we take a look at what’s on the market for those who feel like canning their cards and moving to mobile.
Samsung Pay: Currently available in the UAE. Can be used almost anywhere you can usually swipe or tap your debit or credit card. Works with a range of Samsung devices, including its latest model, the Galaxy S8. It’s free to use.
Beam Wallet: Currently available in the UAE. Can be used at over 3,000 stores in the UAE, such as petrol stations or cinemas. Works with Android and iOS devices. It is free to use.
Apple Pay: Currently not available in the UAE. Expected sometime in 2017. Works with all iPhone 6 and 7 devices, and the Apple Watch. It’s free to use.
Emirates Digital Wallet: Currently not available in the UAE. Expected sometime in 2017. Created by the entire banking sector of the UAE to enable cashless payments. Expected to work on both iOS and Android.
Android Pay: Currently not available in the UAE. No launch date as of yet. Works with all NFC-enabled Android devices. It’s free to use.
EmiratesNBD Pay: Currently available in the UAE. Works with all NFC-enabled Android devices. It’s free to use.
Etisalat Wallet: Currently available in the UAE. Can be used at “select stores” throughout the UAE. Works with iOS and Android devices. It’s free to use.
Google Wallet: Currently not available in the UAE. No launch date as of yet. Works with iOS and Android devices.