Thailand: Telco Issues Contactless SIMs for e-Money and Other Services

 

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BangkokThailand
Scope: 
Rollout
Status: 
In progress
Est. Launch: 
Q2 2008
Main Application: 
Payment, Loyalty, Access Control
Mobile Operator: 
TrueMove
Service Provider (application): 
True Group (TrueMoney, other)
Merchants: 
Reported 2,000 points-of-sale, including at coffee shops, fast-food restaurants and a cinema group as of Sept. 2009
Users: 
N/A
NFC Handsets: 
N/A
TSM*: 
None
Secure Element: 
SIM
Other Vendors: 
Watchdata (contactless SIM)

True launched its “Touch SIM” as a trial in 2008, and later ordered 100,000 contactless SIMs, of which it had issued about 30,000 as of November 2009. The SIMs, supplied by smart card vendor Watchdata, sport a dual-interface chip with an attached antenna, which is wrapped within mobile phones. The vendor said the product can work in most handsets on the market. Subscribers in Thailand can tap their Touch-SIM-packing phones to pay with True’s own electronic-money service, TrueMoney, which can also be used for network-based payments and transfers. The company, a Thai communications conglomerate, also offers other applications, including access control and loyalty on the SIMs. It launched the service with a campaign allowing users to vote by touching their phones to readers in promotional displays to vote for their favorite candidates appearing on a company-sponsored reality TV show.

NFC Times Take: 

True intends to expand the contactless-SIM service, including reportedly to allow for payment at 7-Eleven convenience stores nationwide. The project is the highest profile use of China-based Watchdata’s SIMpass product, also used in Chongqing and tested in other Chinese cities. The product, a dual-interface SIM with antenna attached, is one of several alternatives to delayed NFC phones. Unlike NFC, SIMpass works only in card-emulation mode, though the vendor is trying to equip it also to read RFID chips.

 

 

* 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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