Singapore: Telco StarHub to Launch First of Government-Supervised NFC Projects
Mobile operator StarHub plans to launch its SmartWallet service in August 2012 with three payment applications–a credit application from DBS supporting MasterCard’s PayPass, an e-purse from EZ-Link that could be used for retail purchases and a separate prepaid PayPass service, also from EZ-Link. Consumers will not apparently be able to use EZ-Link's NFC e-purse for transit fare collection, unlike the service provider’s contactless cards. At launch, consumers would be able to tap to pay at more than 30,000 contactless terminals at retail locations and taxis in Singapore, according to the IDA. StarHub said there are more than 20,000 point-of-sale terminals in Singapore supporting PayPass. The other terminals probably support the CEPAS application, used by EZ-Link. StarHub said its SmartWallet app also could be used to browse, download and redeem "virtual coupons." The consumers will be able to redeem the coupons along with the payments with just one tap of their smartphones at certain merchants accepting PayPass, said StarHub. It’s not clear these nonpayment applications will be available at launch.
The SmartWallet is the first of the NFC commercial launches that would begin under an NFC interoperability project overseen by the Infocomm Development Authority, Singapore’s telecoms and information technology regulator. IDA chose a consortium of companies led by France-based TSM Gemalto and including Singapore’s major mobile operators and two large banks to roll out the interoperable NFC infrastructure. The IDA had set a tight deadline to of eight months following the award of the contract to the consortium last October for consortium members to launch at least three payment applications. With the StarHub SmartWallet launch, consortium members would meet that mandate, though they are a little bit behind the deadline.
* Trusted Service Manager: Defined loosely to include companies or other organizations securely distributing, provisioning and managing applications, generally over the air, on secure elements in NFC mobile phones; or licensing their platforms for this purpose. N/A: Not available or not applicable.
Last update: Aug. 2012