MAKKAH: Foreign pilgrims can use their Hajj smart cards for teller services in Saudi Arabia.
According to the details, the Hajj smart card will allow foreign pilgrims to transfer money from their bank accounts in their respective countries.
The card will enable the pilgrims to use it as a payment card to buy things in the Kingdom as it will be operational on Saudi Arabia’s Mada network.
Foreign pilgrims can benefit from these services until next year’s Hajj, as this year’s Hajj is restricted to only domestic pilgrims.
The new facilities and services will be available on the smart card in the second phase of its implementation featuring added services.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had launched the first phase of the smart card in December 2020 and it will be activated for the first time, covering all pilgrims during the upcoming Hajj season.
The first phase linked operations and services of all sectors under the ministry. Major features of the first phase included the issuance of smart identification cards for each pilgrim containing his personal, medical and residential information.
The card is considered to be one of the outcomes of Vision 2030 initiatives, and the implementation of the initiative proved to be a successful model for the application of technologies in serving pilgrims, according to Saudi Gazette.
The smart card operates by means of Near-field communication (NFC), which is a short-range wireless connectivity technology that lets NFC-enabled devices to communicate with each other. It also enables the card to be read through the Kiosk self-service devices deployed at the holy sites, and the card contains a barcode that is read by workers to know the pilgrim’s data. The card will be administered through a unified center to control all services.