Commuters can also pay fares with new bank card

Emiratres NBD launches new 'combo-card' for commuters.

Emirates NBD, the region's biggest bank by assets, has teamed up with Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to offer Metro commuters a "two-in-one" transport credit card.

The "combi-card", which will be launched in the second quarter of next year, combines a credit or debit card with the Metro's Nol Card.

The Nol Card is automatically topped up by either the credit or debit side of the card when it falls to a certain value, giving added value to commuters.

"From a customer's point of view, we are excited in terms of the positioning of the product," says R Sivaram, the head of cards business at Emirates NBD.

"The Metro is popular in the UAE. As it grows in terms of the RTA's expansion of its lines, clearly it will add a lot of convenience to people's lives. They won't have to carry change anymore and it removes the need to carry multiple cards. It is a positive step and should be accepted well [by commuters]."

Emirates NBD was awarded the tender for the combi-card, the first of its kind in the Middle East, last Monday.

Dubai is not the first city in the world to introduce a combined credit/debit contactless smart-card that can be used on a transport system.

In 2006, Barclaycard put itself ahead of the pack when it launched a combined credit card and a cashless transport card. Called OnePulse, it incorporates the Oyster card technology that is used on London's public transport system.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation followed in May 2008, when it launched its first co-branded two-in-one credit card with Citibank.

Two months later, Hong Kong joined the club with its Octopus Citibank Credit Card, which offers credit and contactless smart-card payment functions at thousands of retail and transport locations across the city.

Users will be able to use Dubai's combi-card on the Metro, for water taxis, parking meters and on buses.

The card also offers a range of benefits that customers normally receive with their credit cards, such as free travel insurance and other rewards.

"We will be offering additional benefits to users, but we have yet to define the details of the product," says Mr Sivaram.

For more information, contact Emirates NBD on 600 54 0000.