Dubai Airports press release: The First Airport Prepaid Card in the World Launched - DXB Connect

Dubai, UAE – November 02, 2011 – Dubai Airports, Dubai Duty Free and MasterCard Worldwide today announced the launch of DXB Connect, the world’s first airport prepaid MasterCard card aimed primarily at airport clientele.

Operated on the MasterCard network and issued by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) in conjunction with Jade Payments and Global Processing Services, the DXB Connect card offers over 50 million passengers annually travelling through Dubai International, a convenient and safe method to make airport purchases in local currency (AED).

DXB Connect offers arriving, departing and transiting passengers exclusive discounts at Dubai Duty Free retail outlets, as well as at renowned hotels, spas, F&B outlets and family entertainment venues across Dubai. It also offers global reach as it is accepted everywhere the MasterCard acceptance mark is displayed. As part of the package, the card also comes with a ready to use Etisalat mobile SIM preloaded with AED 25 credit allowing travellers the convenience of having a local phone number on arrival.

DXB Connect cards can be purchased for a one-time fee of 95AED (USD26) and immediately activated at dedicated card activation stands operated by Dubai Duty Free (DDF) across all three terminals at Dubai International. Travellers are able to select the amount they wish to load onto the card when activating it. The card can be topped up at specified locations in the airport and very soon also through all Virgin Megastores, UAE Exchange outlets in UAE and online via the DXB Connect website (www.dxbconnect.com). DXB Connect cardholders can access their card balance through IVR, SMS, dxbconnect.com and at card activation touch points at Dubai International.

The Etisalat prepaid SIM and the DXB Connect prepaid cards are instantly activated at multiple card activation touch points across the airport. This is the first time in the world where a prepaid MasterCard and prepaid mobile SIM have been integrated into a single package for customer convenience.

The DXB Connect card provides cardholders with the ability to better manage their finances as they are not able to spend beyond the pre-paid balance amount stored on the card. It is PIN enabled for ATM use and requires cardholders to provide a signature at point of sale terminals. Additionally, like a credit card, it can be cancelled, blocked and re-issued.

“Our goal is to continually find innovative ways to create a uniquely positive and memorable service experience for our passengers,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. “Much like the airport itself, the DXB Connect card ticks all the boxes by offering our customers global reach, greater convenience and tremendous value.”

“We are very excited about the DXB Connect card and have enjoyed working with Dubai Airports and MasterCard on making it all come together,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman, Dubai Duty Free. “The DXB Connect card will offer travellers tremendous opportunities to avail of a pre-paid card that is easy to purchase at Dubai Duty Free and quickly activated. I think that it is going to be very popular with a diverse mix of travellers.”

“As the world’s first dedicated airport prepaid card, the DXB Connect ushers in a new era of convenience customised for travellers visiting the UAE,” said Ramzy Al Amary, vice president-Abu Dhabi District Manager, MasterCard Worldwide. “DXB Connect cardholders will be powered with the ability to instantly buy, load, activate and use their prepaid cards at the airport and across our global network of 32.7 million acceptance locations. The DXB Connect card provides travellers the advantage of carrying a mode of payment, which requires no bank account or annual fees and is more flexible than cash.”

The global e-commerce industry is growing quickly with sales turnover increasing from US$183 billion in 2004 to an estimated US$550 billion by the end of this year. Similarly the global duty free industry is on the rise with sales turnover increasing some 56 per cent from US$25 billion in 2004 to US$ 39 billion in 2010.