Japanese wireless operator NTT DoCoMo and South Korean peer KT Corporation have firmed up plans to enable their customers to make near field communication (NFC) mobile payments (m-payments) in each other’s countries.
In February 2011, both companies began using a joint business and technology co-operation committee to develop NFC common specifications for incorporation in devices, networks and billing platforms. They now aim to have a system in place by summer 2013 that will allow NTT DoCoMo customers to use their Japan-purchased handsets to make contactless payments at 52,000 locations across South Korea which accept eB Card’s Cashbee electronic money (e-money).
Cashebee is used by around five million Koreans at department and convenience stores, and mass transportation facilities such as subways and buses.
The partners also plan to work on other NFC-based cross-border services such as m-payments, promotional coupons and mass-transit ticketing and to promote the idea of compatible systems with other countries.
“DoCoMo is excited about creating a cross-border environment that enables Osaifu-Keitai [its mobile wallet] services both in Japan and abroad,” said Toshiki Nakayama, managing director, frontier services, DoCoMo. “Going forward, we will partner with international operators and service providers to drive the development of m-payment businesses for increasingly enhanced mobile experiences on a global scale.”
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SWIFT has announced that it has successfully completed the first phase of the global payments innovation (GPI) initiative pilot, clearing the way for the go-live of the service in early 2017.
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However, a London summit on the industry’s introduction of the technology cautions that testing and acceptance are still at an early stage and firms should proceed with caution.