NTT DOCOMO, INC. announced today an agreement with South Korea’s leading telecom operator, KT Corporation, to use near field communication (NFC) technologies to develop cross-border services for mobile payments, mass-transit ticketing, promotional coupons, etc., which they will launch in their respective markets of Japan and South Korea from around the end of 2012.
Through their joint Business & Technology Cooperation Committee, the two companies are developing NFC common specifications that will be incorporated in devices, networks and billing platforms for seamlessly connected mobile NFC services. Customers travelling between South Korea and Japan will access the services using compatible Android handsets embedded with contactless IC chips.
DOCOMO also plans to submit an outline of the common specifications to global industry associations and standardization bodies, such as the GSM Association.
With the ultimate goal of building an international environment for compatible NFC services, DOCOMO has formed strategic tie-ups with payment technology company brand Visa Inc., NFC chip and mobile handset manufacturer Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and SIM card vendor Gemalto N.V. In addition, DOCOMO will collaborate with Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co., Ltd. and bitWallet, Inc. for enhanced cross-border services.
To prepare for the services, DOCOMO and KT will accelerate development of their existing infrastructures, as well as solicit the participation of NFC-based service providers in various industries. DOCOMO has been providing NFC-based Osaifu-Keitai™ mobile-wallet services in Japan since 2004. KT has been operating a post-paid mass transit service in South Korea since 2002.
DOCOMO will demonstrate the envisioned international NFC services at its exhibition booth during Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona, Spain from February 14-17.
Hyunmi Yang, Executive Vice President of KT, said, “Based on our long commercial experience in various financial-convergence services, the NFC collaboration between KT & DOCOMO will contribute to building a sustainable global ecosystem.”
Bill Gajda, Head of Visa Mobile, Visa Inc., said, “Visa has been instrumental in developing the global standard for mobile payments based on NFC technology. We welcome this project and see great value in extending the security, convenience and global interoperability of NFC-based mobile payments to consumers in Japan and Korea.”
“We are delighted to work with NTT DOCOMO by providing competitive NFC IC technology to develop an NFC ecosystem that offers retail and commercial customers a very high degree of convenience, services, interactivity and security on their mobile devices. Thus, we believe this business collaboration will lead to a market-leading solution, new innovation and broad commercial acceptance around the globe,” said Dr. Dojun Rhee, Vice President of the Marketing Team, System LSI Division, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
“Gemalto is delighted to contribute its world-leading NFC expertise for DOCOMO’s deployment of cross-border mobile contactless services,” commented Tan Teck-Lee, President, Gemalto Asia.
Hideo Otsuka, General Manager of the IT Business Dept. of Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co., Ltd., said, “We’ll aggressively collaborate more with DOCOMO so that we could develop new, fascinating cross-border payment services based on NFC technologies.”
Kazumasa Miyazawa, Chief Strategy Officer, Head of the International Business Dept. of bitWallet, Inc., said, “The specifications announced today are an ideal solution for the development of NFC services worldwide. Through their adoption, we aim to introduce seamless Edy services worldwide.”