Officials use the Nol card at a Zoom store in Dubai World Trade Centre metro station. Image Credit: Courtesy: RTA

Dubai: Payment for your purchase at convenience stores is now as simple as tapping your Nol card at the counter, officials said on Wednesday.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has now expanded the capability of its automated payment system, Nol, making it available across a network of retail stores.

The only mode of payment for metro, tram and buses, Nol card was recently made available as a payment option at Dubai’s public parks as well as on taxis. It can also be used to pay for parking.

In the new facility, purchases worth up to Dh5,000 can now be made through Nol cards across Zoom convenience stores at metro stations as well as in petrol stations.

On Wednesday, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) signed an MoU with Network International to formally launch Nol payment for retail purchases.

According to Abdullah Al Madani, CEO of RTA’s Corporate Support Services Sector, the update doesn’t require a change of cards on the part of the users and the facility will be available for all the 13 million users of different types of Nol cards.

“All existing cards can be used to pay the bills at Zoom stores. We are pleased to offer this additional benefit to the Nol users, who won’t have to worry about not having cash for any quick purchases,” said Al Madani, following the launch of the service.

He said that the new facility will make cash redundant, allowing people the safety of keeping the Nol cards sufficiently funded and using it for multiple purpose.

The e-wallet in the silver and gold Nol cards can have maximum purse of Dh1,000, while the Blue personalised Nol card can have up to Dh5,000.

“It is safer to have cash in one e-purse rather carrying hard cash or debit cards. It is easy to carry and easy to use. Most people keep their Nol cards in their phone case so this facility will help them make quick purchases even if they forget their wallets,” said Al Madani.

Apart from Zoom stores, the payment option will soon be available across 1,000 retail stores this year and up to 10,000 store by next year.

“We are in talks with a number of retail outlets. We have been working with most of the retailers including major supermarkets providing credit and debit card facilities and all we need to do is to update the card readers to accept the Nol cards,” said Bhairav Trivedi, CEO of Network International Payment Soultions.

He added that although the facility will allow purchases as big as Dh5,000 on Blue Nol cards, the service is in no way for purchases of luxury goods.

“The idea is to provide a safe tap and go payment option for regular commuters,” he added.

Al Madani assured that the payment mode is safe and secure.

“Nol card is a safe and secure mode of payment and it will continue to be secure even with this option. If the card is lost, people will have an option of calling the RTA immediately and having the card blocked by providing the Nol ID number and have the cash refunded or transferred to another card,” said Al Madani.

Though the anonymous silver or gold Nol card is as secure as the personalised blue card, he urged commuters to go for the blue cards for its added benefit of having the owner’s picture and name, which makes it harder to misuse.