People will be able to use Nol and credit cards to make payments for taxis from April. Taxi meters have been upgraded for hassle-free payment of fares. Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News

Dubai: Payment of taxi fares will become hassle free in the next couple of months as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) enables Nol card and credit card payments, Gulf News has learnt.

A senior RTA official told Gulf News that all taxis have been upgraded already and the new payment modes will be introduced by April.

“We have already upgraded taxi meters and conducted tests, which have been very successful, so we will go with the launch by beginning of quarter 2 of this year,” said Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dossri, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency (PTA).

The new payment mode will accept all Nol cards, including Silver, Gold, as well as personalised Nol cards. However, the red tickets issued for buses and metro will not be allowed on taxis.

According to Dossari, the additional payment options will help people greatly. “It will save people from the headache of keeping change as on many occasions the taxi drivers don’t have change and customers have to go out looking for change. Nol and credit card payment options will add to people’s convenience,” said Dossari.

The project is part of the recently introduced D8 system for taxis, which makes sure various functionalities could be added to taxi meters.

“The Dispatcher 8 (D8) has allowed RTA to implement many new functionalities and because of flexibility of the system, we are able to offer many different features to the customer and enhance our operational effectiveness,” said Dossari.

He added that apart from Nol, both Visa and MasterCards could be used for payment in taxis, which is already the case on Water taxis. “The system will work with all types of cards supported by our payment provider namely Network International,” he said.

Explaining the process of payment, Dossari said that unlike in buses and metro, commuters won’t have to tap on the Nol reader as they get in.

“The taxis will run normally. At the end of the journey, the driver will provide payment options to the customer. i.e. cash, credit card or NoL. In case the passenger would use NoL card the driver will tag the card on reader and it will deduct the value from the NoL card. In case of credit card, the process will be similar to what it is currently available in retail outlets,” he said.