National Bank of Oman (NBO) has partnered with MasterCard to launch a pilot project to introduce TapNGo contactless payment technology in Oman.

The pilot phase, which was planned for the first week of June, will enable customers to make payments for small ticket items at the checkout, without the need to enter a PIN or sign a receipt.

In the pilot project, select customers will be provided with a contactless debit card to be used at NBO point-of-sale (POS) machines installed with merchants and also contactless card holders can purchase items totaling less than OMR10 with a simple tap of their card.

The technology has been designed to be secure, saves time for the customer and merchant, protects purchase data and reduces the risk of cloning or theft.

The cards, which will use the TapNGo technology, will be known as NBO Beam cards. NBO expects to roll out this technology nationwide later this year.

In order to ensure security, a chip and a radio frequency antenna will be embedded into the contactless card, which is then simply touched against a contactless reader with the payment details transmitted wirelessly.

MasterCard general manager for Gulf Countries Raghav Prasad said: "As we continue to drive the latest payment solutions in the region, MasterCard has taken the initiative to promote the widespread adoption of contactless payments across the Middle East with countries such as UAE, Qatar, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia already equipped with this technology."