Japan’s three major mobile operators had sold nearly 14 million standard NFC-enabled smartphones and tablets as of January, according to the Mobile NFC Association, as the country continues to be among the leaders in rolling out NFC-enabled phones and SIMs. There are still few places to use the NFC devices in Japan, however.
BARCELONA, Spain – It’s an oft-repeated goal by NFC backers–to enable customers to use a variety of NFC services when they roam in different countries by downloading the local applications when they arrive at the airport or at the point of service.
Japanese mobile operators KDDI and Softbank Mobile have launched an NFC couponing service in a popular Korean district of Tokyo, implemented by an affiliate of South Korea’s largest mobile operator, SK Telecom.
Japan is continuing its transition to standard NFC, with plans by large acquirers to deploy more than 400,000 point-of-sale terminals supporting MasterCard PayPass and confirmation by the No. 3 mobile operator that it has hired an outside trusted service manager as it prepares to introduce NFC services.
Japan’s largest telco, NTT DoCoMo, has begun to make a key piece of its strategy for NFC known, announcing deals with MasterCard Worldwide and South Korea’s KT Corp. to enable subscribers to make payments when they roam in other countries.
Japan Airlines next month is expected to launch what is believed to be the first commercial service worldwide enabling passengers to tap standard NFC phones to pass through boarding gates, NFC Times has learned.
While he announced that U.S. mobile operator Sprint will introduce more than 10 additional NFC phones supporting the Google Wallet this year, Osama Bedier, who heads the wallet program at Google, revealed few other details about how the Web giant plans to boost the wallet’s market presence.
BARCELONA – Two more chip makers, Samsung Electronics and NXP Semiconductors, are planning to introduce NFC chips that support Japan’s large infrastructure of contactless readers based on FeliCa technology.
Japan’s second largest mobile operator, KDDI, said it would launch Japan’s first mobile NFC service late this month with the Samsung Galaxy S II–though the service will start out small because of the lack of phones that support both standard NFC and Japan's proprietary FeliCa technology, as well as Japan's nearly nonexistent infrastructure of standard contactless readers.
Germany’s third largest mobile operator, E-Plus, has launched NFC payments with a prepaid wallet card, joining other German telcos, which have also launched prepaid payments applications on their SIM cards.
As the Hungarian Mobile Wallet Association prepares to enable its members to commercially launch NFC mobile payments, it has released the results of its 12-month NFC payments and loyalty pilot along with a survey of users.
France-based telco Orange and Air France, along with airline industry and information technology services provider SITA have launched a trial of an NFC boarding pass application for the airline’s route from Toulouse to Paris, and SITA is also piloting Bluetooth low energy beacons at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
NFC Times Exclusive: Both Visa and MasterCard plan to offer their own HCE services to banks and other issuers to help the financial institutions launch host-card emulation, as the payment networks continue to try to expedite the rollout of HCE technology for NFC mobile payments, NFC Times has learned.
NFC Times Exclusive: Host-card emulation represents an “inflection point” for driving the rollout of NFC mobile payments and could also help the SIM-based NFC ecosystem to become more efficient and less costly, the head of payments innovation for major Spanish bank BBVA told NFC Times.
NFC Times Exclusive: With its high rate of smartphone ownership, strong contactless-payment infrastructure and well-developed NFC ecosystem, Canada is increasingly seen as a market to watch for NFC commercial deployments.
Spanish bank BBVA is claiming to be the first bank to commercially launch payments with host-card emulation, announcing today an upgrade of its Android mobile-wallet app incorporating Visa’s HCE specifications.