Etisalat, UAE’s largest telco, showcased their upcoming Flous service that acts like a Digital wallet in your mobile device. The Flous application for Android and iPhone will allow you to tag your NFC equipped phone or take a picture scanning a barcode to conduct a transaction such as shop for products or withdraw cash from ATM machines.
Flous, which means Money in Arabic will be supported by Carrefour, Pizza Hut as well as RTA to pay for your metro tickets at launch with more partners to follow. Etisalat also mentioned that they will be working with all banks to equip ATM machines with Flous service as well as working with vending machine manufacturers to use Flous to pay for your soft drinks and snacks.
Using your Flous account you will either be able to store money in your digital wallet or conduct an instant transaction through your debit/credit card tied with your Flous account. You will also be able to transfer funds between different Flous accounts that could be withdrawn from ATM machines. Other cool uses for Flous could include it acting as a key to your home of office (with NFC equipped locks)
To get started, you will need to take your device to Etisalat and tie your Flous account to it. You will be issued a pin number that will be required any time you conduct a transaction through Flous making it secure. If you lose or change your phone, you can go to your nearest Etisalat branch and get the service disconnected or transferred to your new phone.
Etisalat was educating the consumer about Flous on their stand at GITEX 2012 where we recorded the following video which answers some questions about the usage as well as tells you what the service can be used for.
The service is currently in testing and should be available to consumers soon.