Singapore: First Trial Combining NFC and FeliCa

 

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Countinue Reading

 

Singapore Singapore
Scope: 
Trial
Status: 
Completed
Launch: 
Oct 2007
Main Application: 
Ticketing (transit)
Mobile Operator: 
StarHub
Service Provider (application): 
EZ-Link (closed-loop transit and retail purse)
Merchants: 
About 1,000, including McDonald’s restaurants, 7-Eleven convenience stores and Coca-Cola vending machines
Users: 
More than 800
NFC Handsets: 
iWOW (Prototype)
Secure Element: 
Embedded
Other Vendors: 
Cassis International (smart poster and online reload systems), Sony (FeliCa secure element in phone), NXP Semiconductors (NFC phone chip), Vivotech (readers)

Six-month trial enabled users to tap their phones to pay on 20,000 terminals, wherever Singapore’s transit purse, ez-link, was accepted. That is mainly on trains and buses but also at some retail outlets and vending machines. Users could also check their purse balance, transaction history and details of their last top-up on the phone screens. And they could tap smart posters to download URLs to coupons or other promotional content.

NFC Times Take: 

Trial was the first to test an application, ez-link, that uses proprietary FeliCa technology from Sony Corp. This created delays in the launch of the project since Sony, though a co-creator of Near Field Communication with Philips (now NXP) Semiconductors in 2002, did not have its own NFC chip. So the prototype phone used in the trial, which was made by a Singaporean company and modeled on a Sony Ericsson model, carried an NFC chip from Philips stacked with a secure element from Sony. The ez-link transit purse rode on the secure element. But it was a challenge to make the Sony and NXP chips communicate.

Results: 

23% of post-trial survey respondents said they would be very likely to adopt the technology if offered, with another 45% saying they would “likely” to adopt it, according to StarHub. Most said they would pay a “slight premium” for the NFC chip in their phones. About 83% of respondents used their phones during the trial to pay transit fares and nearly 70% said they checked their transaction histories. But only 20% reported making retail purchases with the phones.

 

 

* 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.

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